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ATD Blog

Reporter's Notebook: Tuesday Sessions


Thu May 26 2016


Everyone has a purpose, and everyone wants to follow a path. And when you aren’t able to do so—if you’re in a job that doesn’t align with what you feel comfortable doing, for instance—you aren’t able to thrive.   

During “The Purpose Effect: Creating Meaning for Employees,” Dan Pontefract, the chief envisioner of TELUS, introduced his audience to The Purpose Effect, a three-circle Venn diagram with “personal,” “role,” and “organizational” at each of the poles. If a person feels satisfaction with all three circles, she will be in the “sweet spot.” 


Each of the circles has its own group of goals that need to be satisfied. For instance, within the “personal” circle, employees need to be able to develop, define, and decide. A good way to provide employees with a satisfying “personal” circle, Pontefract said, is to help them write a personal declaration of purpose. 

Meanwhile, there are several things that can prevent purpose: profit (specifically the fixation on it); power; role (especially people feeling as though they’re in the wrong one); performance management process; and greed. 

Interested in learning management and leadership insight? Pontefract’s book, Flat Army, is available in the ATD Store. In Flat Army, you'll find powerful leadership models and tools that help you challenge yourself and overcome your personal obstacles to change, while pushing the boundaries of organizational change to create a culture of collaboration.

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