Driven to succeed

We all tell ourselves we enjoy our work, but sometimes we are not sure what it is about the company we work for that really inspires us to stay. What is it about some companies that creates the stickiness that keeps their employees coming back day after day, year after year, to help it succeed and in doing so share in their success.

For some of us it is the colleagues we work with and for some of us it is the ability to practice our trade and develop our skills in doing so. For some of us it is the impact of what we do on the outside world. For customers, communities, and society. Whatever it is, the reality is that the thing that drives us to work for a company and stay with them is different for everyone. And this difference is even markedly so when you move between companies or industries.

Sometimes, there can be a unifying force that exists within teams, departments and even companies. Something that is consistent and often differentiates that company from its competitors. A driving force that is similar and shared between colleagues.

Now, that driving force is not present in every company. The reality is that some just don’t have it. Try as they may to create it using words, slogans, and imagery they are often fighting an uphill battle as it was never there to be found. Communications can’t help you here.

This force if it exists is not even always readily apparent within those companies who do have a unifying ‘little piece of magic’ (a term I have borrowed from one of my favourite CEOs). When you talk to people within and outside of the company each thinks it is something different. Many find it hard to articulate it.

To find the little piece of magic you must bring together stories from across the organisation. Stories that reveal the beginnings of the company, the journey, the trials, and tribulations. You have to uncover stories that have led to triumph and those that led to tears. It is these moments in time that people remember and often reveal the reasons why the company exists and continues to thrive.

To uncover the driving force for any company, you need to be willing to delve deeply into the company’s strategy, its performance, and the challenges it is facing to its future success.

The difficult thing is navigating through the many stories and issues to find that golden thread that can be woven to captures the essence of what it means to work for a particular company.

When you find this ‘something’ it can be a sense of great satisfaction. And it should be, because when you do find it can drive a company’s strategy and lead to enhanced success.

Of course, I’m talking about a company’s purpose. For me finding it is what makes me get up in the morning.