Bring Purpose to Life: Articulate is the Second Step

How do organizations bring purpose to life—ingraining purpose with the power to transform? Our approach to developing an authentic purpose and helping organizations live it integrates internal and external inputs from multiple perspectives with four steps—discover, articulate, activate, and embed—that build upon and reinforce one another. Let’s focus on the second step: Articulate.

In the Articulation step, the organization develops and communicates its purpose statement. It crafts a story in its own voice that resonates with employees and customers.

Creative messaging and emotionally powerful communications are crucial for articulating purpose effectively. A two- to three-minute film can serve as a visual illustration, in which imagery, music, and text engage head and heart. Film is particularly effective for disseminating purpose to a dispersed workforce because it does the talking for leaders and ensures a consistent message throughout the organization.

For North America’s largest building materials company (the division of a global company), film has been an effective tool for communicating purpose. The division, which had grown chiefly through acquisitions, urgently needed to foster cohesion in order to manage and leverage scale, drive growth, and succeed in the long term. After articulating its purpose, the company commissioned a film on the theme of the human impulse to build. To engage the division’s tough, independent-minded people, the film featured only real employees doing real work, wearing their hard hats, safety vests, and steel-toed boots with pride. The film (as well as key rollout communications) recounted the company’s early-20th-century roots—two entrepreneurial European brothers who began with a single truck and a sand pit—a story that would resonate with those who became employees in North America through the acquisition of smaller, often family-founded, businesses.

Find out more about our process by reading our white paper: Purpose with the Power to Transform.

And look for more information about our thought leadership here at BrightHouse on the blog. Stay up-to-date by subscribing. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest insights on purpose. 

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