A few years ago we did some work with a company that makes brakes. Their team was unhappy, disengaged and not living up to their potential.
While working through the issues, it became clear that one of their problems was a lack of purpose. They could not see a connection with the work they did each day and a bigger picture.
So we started talking about what happens after they complete their work. Where do the brakes go from there? When they answered, a lightbulb went off. The brakes went on school buses. Each day they came into work, they were making sure kids arrived at school safely in the morning and made it back to their homes each afternoon.
For any parent who’s put a kid on the bus for the first time (and maybe even followed behind it), you know the trust placed on each part of that bus.
They weren’t making brakes, they were educating children. That’s an admirable job. When the team saw the value of their work, their commitment to it grew, as did their commitment to one another. They had a vision and purpose now and worked together to achieve it.
It’s important for teams to see their connection with the greater whole. As the saying goes, anything worth doing is worth doing well.