Bespoke branded Compassionate Cultures illustration of key attribute for Meaning

Why gazing at the stars is good for the soul… and our work

This summer I found myself with evenings at home and a distinctly different social life to previous summers. It did lead to a number of evenings with a glass of wine in hand, sat in the garden enjoying the peacefulness of the night sky looking at the stars. I found it surprisingly grounding and rebalancing in a world that felt quite out of kilter at times.

For many years we have talked with organisations and teams about defining their North Star. This analogy will not be new to many of you, it is frequently used to help in defining purpose, in understanding why we need a “why” as an organisation, as a team, as individuals.

2020 has certainly been very different from the one most of us expected. Our worlds have been shifted, what we knew in the past to be firm and true has changed. Like the night sky where the North Star shines brightly enabling us to make sense of the rest of the galaxy, being purpose-led helps us make sense of the world around us, to bring meaning to what we do every day, especially when the landscape around us is shifting.

The North Star also helps us orientate the sky above us, to bring meaning to the millions of other stars in the sky. When we take the time, we can see the connections between groups of stars and pick out any number of constellations in the sky, its brings meaning to the vastness above us and gives every star meaning.

So why are we so passionate about being purpose-led, bringing meaning to the everyday and ensuring every day is meaningful?

When organisations have a clear purpose, and people understand how the work they do every day connects to that purpose, it brings meaning to the everyday.

And when we have meaning the sense of being part of something greater than yourself can lead to high levels of engagement, high levels of creativity, and the willingness to collaborate across functional and product boundaries, resulting in increased levels of business performance

And that is the key – bringing meaning to the everyday…
How often do you see or read inspiring statements on office walls or shared on organisation websites? The difference between an organisation that enages and inspires its people through purpose, and one that simple exists, is in how these statements are brought to life. How do they bring meaning to what we do, to the decisions we make, to the way we spend our time. How do they live them when times are tough as well as when times are good.

In a world where circumstances have forced many of us to work remotely, we are seeing an increasing feeling of isolation, a lack of connection with each other and with the work we do together.

As human beings we are wired to connect and in the words of Jim Collins “It is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work”. So back to the star gazing, here’s some ideas of things you could do this week to give yourself, and those you work with, the time to bring meaning into the day and make each day meaningful

• Take time at the end of each day to reflect on the moments that have brought you joy and be curious to explore why

• Random acts of gratitude – Share with someone the positive impact a specific thing they’ve done has had on you

• Lead a discussion in your team to share with each other what makes you proud to be a part of the organisation you’re choosing to work for.

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