Living with purpose; the antidote to a disruptive world

The biggest word in our world today must be: disruption.

We are challenged every day, it is a chaotic world where disruptive business models are the norm.

The rate of change has never been so fast and the time between changes is getting shorter and shorter. We live in a period of mass disruption and don’t we know it!  

A recent example: a few years ago catching a cab or taxi was a pretty traditional ritual. Then Uber came along and disrupted the business model and our user experience. In cities the world over Uber became a noun for taxi. While in Singapore during the last few years, catching a cab was via Uber. No big deal eh, pretty normal. However, today when I am there, I don’t get an Uber, I get a Grab. Uber has already been replaced. Not just in Singapore but across South East Asia. With Grab you can order your taxi, buy a pizza, rent a bike, pay for your goods and so much more. And you gather rewards, incentives through cross promotion and of course it’s customised by country. Grab are also opening an office in Seattle, the hub for technology as we know! The result is that the way we used to do things was disrupted and now these disrupters have been disrupted!

The next 20 years is set to continue with ever faster change. Automation is one of the forces for this accelerated change. With PWC saying that 20% of jobs are predicted to be destroyed by Artificial Intelligence by 2037, but just as many take their place.

How do we thrive in a world of mass disruption?

We need a systemic shift in our approach to how we sustain ourselves so we are fit for the future. It starts with our values, beliefs and attitudes as we define our purpose, then live that every day.

Recently we (global partners with Unilever) were with Tim Munden: Chief Learning Officer at Unilever where Tim spoke about their Standards of Leadership (SoL). The aim and approach of SoL is amazing and I wanted to share it with you. The aim at Unilever is to make sustainable living commonplace. At first I understood the words but didn’t really get it. Then Tim shared his philosophy  – “Bees in the garden”. Tim has a lavender bush in his garden and enjoys watching the bees. Tim also knows that bees cross pollenate by going to other gardens. The generosity of this is huge, as we are all bees and we all have our own gardens (our organisation, our customers etc) to visit, with the call to action for us all to share the SoL to truly make sustainable living commonplace.

At the heart of SoL is the Inner game and the Outer Game. Having both the Inner and Outer Game really working is the enabler for people to continuously transform. Which is essential in such a disruptive world.

Let’s explore the Inner Game, it has three elements:

  1. Purpose and service: works from purpose for the good of others
  2. Personal mastery: always brings their best self
  3. Agility: constantly curious and courageous

I found the Inner Game really interesting as it connects with my personal values and beliefs. As I looked at each of these three elements I found that I challenged myself with “how strong is my Inner Game?” Then I thought how strong does it needs to be. Like you I am sure there are some areas we know are strong and other areas that are work in progress, and that is OK.

To have a stronger Inner Game and Outer Game, I truly believe we need that systemic shift and to disrupt our attitudes to how we live and how we learn. It starts with knowing our own purpose, easy to say I know, not necessarily easy to define.

When I wrote my purpose in 2002 “to enjoy today, whilst supporting others to succeed in the future” it felt right. Over the years my purpose has acted as my inner compass and made it easy for me to make work and personal life decisions. In fact I can honestly say that living my purpose has liberated me. It has made my life very easy, especially during periods of mass disruption. It gives comfort, lessens any anxiety and helps me make choices of what to do and what not to do.

As social beings, it may not come as a surprise that the most common theme for people’s purposes is to help others. If you would like to create your own purpose, take a look at the video and read the article via the two links below. They both extend upon what I have shared and give some great practical tips.

The Power of Purpose
From Purpose to Impact

#purpose #inspire #legacy

I would love to hear from you and to hear what your purpose is and to share your experience of living your purpose. So add a comment on this post.

Please also like and share this article. Inspire, enable and support your friends and network so they can also enjoy the benefits of learning every day by being fit for the future in a world of mass disruption.

To find out more, get in touch and email me:

Steven Edney

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