Cause is an interesting word in the English language; it acts as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, a cause is a committed principle or aim. As a verb, it means to create or to make something happen. This is all well and good you might be thinking, but what does this English lesson have to do with anything? Well, besides allowing us to indulge in our love affair with words, we have found in our more than 20 years of consumer Experience design work that this little word has enormous impact.
As many of you know, Starizon is both place and process that enables our clients to live and work in a world where their Experience aspirations can be both dreamed and achieved. We also recount our own Experience aspirations and how we have done what most consultants thought was impossible. At Starizon, we have turned work into a cause, both in aim (noun) and in action (verb). But why? Why have we infused every aspect of our work with this small five-letter word? Because we’ve seen the big changes that happen as a result. We’ve seen the power and possibility that arise when we consistently remember and feel the importance of our aims and actions. We have found that by turning our work into a cause, our organizational culture is filled with intention, purpose, and passion.
We take pioneer aviator and author of The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s words to heart when he says:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t gather people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Maybe we could all make work a cause by focusing more attention on the why of what we’re doing instead of just the what? This is not to say that an organization shouldn’t spend any time on the minutia of processes and procedures, just intentionally less time. And we’re also not recommending spending all the time focusing on the why of the organization, just intentionally more time. When we’re reminded of the significance of the work we have already pursued and the importance of the work we seek to create, a longing for the endless immensity of the sea is born that gives us a vital energy and a new context.
By connecting with our organization in this deeper way, a resilient power and a not-so-quiet confidence is created. Our organizations become places full of intention, purpose, and passion, where both employees and leadership bring emotion to work instead of just going through the motions at work, creating a culture that is vibrant, alive, and thriving.
We invite you to take time this month to connect with the why of your organization. If you had to name your organization’s deepest intention or highest purpose, what would that be? How might you contribute to realizing your organization’s highest expression of itself? What would that look like? Share your insights in the comments section below. Careful though, you just might start to feel the side effects of turning your work into a cause: increased meaning, connection and possibility!