We are Born, We Grow Up and We Die…
The only thing which you can control in this equation is what are you doing while you are growing up.
Why are you doing that? Is that making you happy? You only have one life so we should make it count.
Finding that purpose requires balancing many things. You need to find that one thing which makes you happy. Our companies and leaders used to say we are sacrificing this for the greater good of the company, world, or country. I don’t disagree with doing what the world needs because it is important, but it should not be at the expense of your happiness. You might think of doing what you do best makes sense, but will anybody pay you for that. Because at the end of the day you need money to survive in the world.
This is when the Japanese principle of IKIGAI comes into play. IKIGAI means “Reason of Being”.This refers to having a direction or purpose in life.
This principle can be used not just be individuals by also by the companies.
Before defining a catchy slogan, they should focus on finding the purpose and values. The companies with a strong sense of purpose and value will always perform better than their peers.
If you could align your Ikigai with those of the employees working with you, then that creates motivation and drive which eventually creates an environment with positive energy. People who are working in that environment will be driven to do their purpose and will be perfectly aligned with the company’s purpose.
The companies follow the same patterns as life ie. “Startup, Scaleup and Screwup” like “We Are Born, We Grow Up and We Die”. As a company, you should focus on postponing that inevitable. That is why it is important to find out the purpose, “the IKIGAI”. If that is found and served by generations of people the company can live for centuries.
Spend your time in finding the purpose of your company and your team. Your company’s vision/product vision will not count if it describes “the what and not the why”. This cannot be done by writing catchy phrases on posters.
Finding the IKIGAI is a lengthy process, So I suggest spending the time with your leadership team and team members. This should not be a one time exercise this should be done frequently so the purpose is served.
The quickest way ( not the effective way) to start with is to print the prepared canvas of IKIGAI.
Give the smaller version to the individuals and stick the bigger version in the room.
Ask every team member to write in their answers and post it in their small versions of the canvas. Keep in mind overthinking will over complicate. Hence don’t overthink and time box the activity to 5 to 7 to minutes per section. So that you could finish this in 30 minutes.
After this map, it to the bigger canvas. When they map it to the bigger canvas ask them to explain it. This will help you in identifying the IKIGAI (purpose )of the company, team, and individuals.
We are Born, We Live and We Die. So choose wisely and make every moment count.