How a Process Purpose pushes your process to the next level
#005: Explore why a Process Purpose helps to push your process to the next level and learn how to develop a Process Purpose Statement for your own process.
In this episode, I am deep diving into the topic of Process Purpose. Based on the previous episode with Benjamin Rolff, I am explaining why and how a Process Purpose can help to get to a more genuine, deeper, more sustainable process.
I provide examples of different types of purpose and how they contribute to each other so that you can match this with your own ideas right away.
Finally, I explain exactly how you can use the Process Purpose Canvas to develop a purpose for your own process. For this, I present the tool in detail and give examples and support on how you can get started with it.
- How to differentiate between organizational, process, team, and individual purpose
- Examples of individual purpose statements and how they can contribute to the other types of purpose
- Why it is so important to know the why of a process
- How to develop a process purpose statement
- Examples of process purpose statements
- Which tools to use to get started with the development of a process purpose statement for your own process
- Recording of the New Process Podcast launch party with Benjamin Rolff on how apply New Work ideas to rethink processes
- Lufthansa Group purpose video: Connecting people, cultures, and economies
- New Process Toolbox
- Process Purpose Canvas
- Benjamin Rolff on LinkedIn and his New Performance Academy
- Julia von Winterfeldt on LinkedIn and her company SOULWORX
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Please note that the transcript was generated automatically and only slightly adjusted. It does not claim to be a perfect transcription.
Mirko: Welcome to episode five of the New Process Podcast. Today I’m going to explain how a process purpose pushes your process to the next level. So let’s dive right into it and talk about why we are talking about this. Within the last episode, in the interview with Benjamin Rolff, he shared his thoughts on how to use new work ideas to rethink processes.
In addition to that, we also talked about that at the New Process Podcast launch party. And you can find the recording on YouTube when you go to NewProcessLab.com/launchparty. There’s part two of the interview with Benjamin, I would say in both, we ended up with a deep dive into this purpose thing. – Whatever purpose really is about.
It’s about answering the why of, for example, a person. So why am I here? And knowing your individual purpose will always give you direction in life, help you to answer questions, make decisions, and give orientation. A purpose statement can be developed based on combining – on the one hand – the uniqueness of a person with – on the other hand – the impact a person would like to achieve.
And just to give you two examples, we also discussed at the launch party Benjamin’s purpose. Which he defined as “empowering people to create a work life that is fulfilling, impactful and healthy”. And this is what he’s heading for within his New Performance Academy, for example, and what he’s exploring within his podcast.
And as a second example let’s take mine. My personal, my individual purpose, which I would define as “Creating inspiring experiences”. So bring people together, solve problems and create memories that inspire for the future. That’s the idea of why I’m here. And when I look back into my history, I can point out several, occasions where I’m exactly performed this. And so in the meantime, I really realized that this is why I’m here. And now I’m trying to apply this to – or combine it with – my BPM experience and I’m pushing New Process ahead and also try to make this podcast an inspiring experience.
And when Benjamin asked me what the purpose of the podcast is, I would simply say it’s inspiring you to rethink processes, so inspiring people to rethink processes. That’s basically what I try to do here, and hopefully this will also be somehow an inspiring episode for you as well. So before we really dive into what process purpose is, let’s talk about the different types of purpose first.
So we already learned from Benjamin that there is an organizational or corporate or company purpose. On the one hand side, I would say this is the one extreme. And on the other hand, we have the individual purpose of a person, and hopefully there is a match in between both types of purpose. So my individual purpose should somehow contribute to the organizational purpose of the organization, the company I’m working for and in between the organizational purpose and the individual purpose there you will also find the process purpose.
So a purpose for a process should also contribute to the organizational purpose. And I’ll give you an example later. And best case is that the people working in the process can also realize their individual purpose by working in the process, by contributing to the process purpose. And then again, contributing to the organizational purpose. That would be the perfect match there, I would say.
And we also learned about team purpose, which I would say is a subgroup of purpose there within an organization, like the purpose of a team. And from my point of view, team purpose is also a sub-purpose of process purpose, because often the process runs through several organizational units or several teams are involved there.
And hopefully the team purpose then contributes to the process purpose as well as to the organizational purpose. So that’s the idea behind of these how these different types of purpose interact with each other.
And then the idea is that they hopefully overlap for a maximum there. So to give you an example as I told you, I would say that my purpose is “creating inspiring experiences” and this for example, could be realized within the process where it’s necessary to perform trainings. So looking back to what I did in the past, working as a process architect, for example, designing the process of process management for the Lufthansa Group.
There, I could perfectly bring in my individual purpose of creating inspiring experiences. Whenever we develop platforms, where we invited the people working in the process to discuss about the process or simulations like the pizza game. We can deep dive into that later on in another episode as well.
So these were all examples where I could really bring in and live my individual purpose of creating inspiring experiences. And that’s a perfect match. If you, as a person can bring in your best and can realize your purpose within a specific process you are working in or working on, and then also contribute to the company purpose.
So this is what I would always recommend to be happy with what you’re doing. If you can live your purpose. Yeah, so that’s just an overview. And now within the session, we’ll first have a look onto why a process purpose really makes sense. And then I’ll tell you how to develop a process purpose and how that fits to the New Process Life Cycle.
And I will also provide you with some examples of how a process purpose could look like. And at the end I’ll tell you how to learn more. And how to develop your own process purpose statement, for example.
Now the question is why do we need to know the why, especially the why of a process? The idea behind is that the why gives direction for all the other activities. So first you should know the why. Afterwards, we can talk about how and what. And for process guys, this is really easy talking about the how and the what. So we know the processes defining how something should be done. And then in the reality, we are creating the product. So the what is also quite easy with regards to execution. But this fuzzy why topic, this is what we’re going to deep dive into right now.
The idea of knowing the why of a process will hopefully create a sense of unity and the common understanding of the people working in and on the process. And it will provide guidance for process design on the one hand side, as well as later on for process execution to the employees working in and on the process.
Knowing the why will also contribute to a sustainable process implementation because the people understand why we have this process and they are inspired by this purpose, and this will contribute to sustainable implementation as well.
And this then hopefully will lead – and there is evidence that that really works – that this will move the process to a higher level.
Instead of higher, faster, further, we get to more genuine, deeper, more sustainable process just based on knowing the why of the process. So the question now is how to develop a process purpose? And that’s the first phase of the New Process Life Cycle, which you will find in the toolbox on NewProcessLab.com. I put the link into the show notes as well.
The first phase of the New Process Life Cycle is to define process purpose. This is always the basis for all the other activities. Afterwards we can develop the process strategy which hopefully contributes to realizing the process purpose, and then we can design the process in a way that we are going to fulfilled the process purpose when executing the process later on. We can map the process. We can use it for process implementation and then steer process execution and improve process execution, and then go back. So that’s the, the New Process Life Cycle. You maybe remember that and if not, just jump back to episode 3 where I deep dive into the New Process Life Cycle and explain more about that, how this really works. But yeah, let’s go to define process purpose, the first phase of the New Process Life Cycle. And the idea is that this purpose then always gives direction throughout the whole process.
So as soon as we know the why, we can use that for the development of the strategy, for the design of the process. Even within execution, we can always refer to the process purpose and let the employees make their own decisions within the execution of the process. Just based on knowing the purpose. If they don’t know if they should go left or right when making a decision in the process, they can always think about what is the purpose of this process and which decision really fits to that purpose. And so this will help them as well within process execution, not only within the design phase.
So the purpose gives meaning to the process, and this is exactly what we are going to develop within the first phase: Why does this process really exist? And then based on knowing the why we can go into the development of the process strategy and answer questions, like, where are we now? What is our vision? What are our targets? How do we measure always with regards to the process purpose.
And then we can continue within process design. How do you get from where we are right now to fulfill our process vision? Which then helps to realize the process purpose. So that’s basically the idea of the first three steps of the process.
And now the question is how do we develop a process purpose? To answer this, I can offer you a tool, which is the Process Purpose Canvas.
It’s basically a template which you can go through step by step, fill out all the different areas and get together all the puzzle pieces to create a process purpose statement in the end. Before we have a closer look onto how the process purpose canvas looks like, please keep in mind that there are some basic principles for the development of process purpose.
Most important is that in the beginning you create transparency about the procedure. Invite all the people to participate in the different ways, like being there in the workshops online, onsite, or just get to know the results and be able to provide feedback or simply just follow what is going on there and open this process for everyone and make sure that this is already a joint experience.
Coming together discussing all the different aspects of the Process Purpose Canvas will help to bring the process purpose to life because the people are involved into the discussion, and they can really contribute with their own ideas.
And then there will be several iterations. So it’s not like, ah, okay, we’re having this one hour workshop and then we have the process purpose.
That’s it? No. That’s not how, how this really works. You will definitely need several iterations to define the process purpose. And it may be updated from time to time. Just keep that in mind for the overall procedure. In general, I would recommend inviting a representative sample of people working in and on the process or of your process community to a workshop.
Maybe one day is enough, but to give the people a little bit more time to think about what you did, I always recommend to split it up into two days. Split the agenda according to the two perspectives you maybe remember Benjamin told us about: On the one inside the outer perspective on an individual or on a team and on the other inside the, the inner perspective, and this is exactly what we are doing with the Process Purpose Canvas as well.
On the one side we are looking onto the outer perspective of the process or the process community. First it’s to think about the organization’s purpose where the process belongs to. What is the purpose of our organization? Maybe it’s defined. Maybe it’s not, if it’s not defined, then use the time to discuss this with the people.
What could the organization’s purpose be. Maybe there is already a statement going into that direction or you have an idea. It’s really fruitful to have this discussion about the organization’s purpose first. So put that on brown paper, just use some post-its to get all the ideas onto the wall to start creating this big puzzle for your process purpose.
After thinking about the organization’s purpose, the next step is to talk about the organization’s strategy. What is the strategy of our organization or sub-area of our organization we are working in with our process community?
Discuss about the strategy so that all participants get a common understanding of the strategy of the company you are working for. And then finally, the last step on the outer perspective is to think about the stakeholder needs. First, who are the stakeholders of our process, and then in the second step, what are their needs?
For example, stakeholders can be the customers for sure. I think, this is the most important stakeholder there. But also the employees working in the process, the management leading the process, suppliers, or even society could be a stakeholder of your process. Write down all the stakeholders and brainstorm their needs and put that onto the wall to complete the picture there from the outer perspective with regards to your process.
This will be basically day one of the workshop. And then on the second day, we’ll have a closer look onto the inner perspective. Starting with the values and behaviors of the process community. Think about what are our values, our rules, our principles, and put that again onto the wall.
There are some tools which you can use and you’ll find this in the toolbox on NewProcessLab.com as well. So just to give you an idea, put that onto the wall there. And then after talking about values and behaviors, second step would be to define our core competencies. What are the core competencies of the people working in and on the process?
What is our superpower? Just write it there. That’s the second step. And then we write down the value proposition. So answering the question, what do we give back to the world? This is already a little bit more emotional than the technical core competencies and hopefully the value proposition fits to the stakeholder needs.
This would then complete the puzzle there and based on all these different aspects, it’s then finally the task to write an emotional statement for the process purpose, bringing together all the different aspects, how you contribute to the organization’s purpose and strategy. How you, for example, enable your stakeholders based on your values and behaviors by using your core competencies and bringing all this to your value proposition.
Putting that into an emotional statement to define the process purpose, that’s the idea there, and yeah, I know this is somehow a little bit fuzzy.
That’s why I’m going to give you an example now. Let’s imagine the purpose of an HR recruiting process. This is a fictious example without any reference to an existing process. But I’d still love to take as an example a real organization purpose which is called “Connecting people, cultures, and economies in a sustainable way”.
And now you can think about what kind of company this is having a purpose, like connecting people, cultures, and economies.
You know, I’m an airline guy and this is exactly the statement which the Lufthansa Group developed as their purpose statement. And I really love connecting people, cultures, economies, that’s what an airline is doing.
And that’s a nice example for today as well. By the way, if you like to, there is a very emotional video, putting the process purpose of Lufthansa Group into pictures as well. I really like that. I I’ll put that into the show notes as well, so it’s really worth watching that video.
That’s the first step. Again, just as a reminder, we are talking about the purpose of an HR recruiting process. Now within an organization which defines their purpose as connecting people, cultures, and economies.
Then discuss about the strategy, whatever that really is. It always depends. I leave that open here.
And then think about the stakeholders. For an HR recruiting process, I would say on one inside, we have the hiring managers and their need is to have motivated, inspired, and talented employees. Just an as an example. I don’t want to mess it up here with the HR recruiting experts. So if you have better ideas than feel free to, to send you your feedback there. But just as an example, we have on the one inside the hiring unit as the hiring managers. And on the other side, another stakeholder of this process to recruit people are the people. So the future employees and their need is to find – I would say – attractive, meaningful activities. This is the outer perspective.
And then from an inner perspective, values and behaviors could be, that we live diversity, openness, curiosity. Just as an example. It could be way more, but I think that would fit to a purpose, like connecting people, cultures, and economies to live diversity, openness, curiosity, and so on.
As our core competencies for an HR recruiting process, I think, we could define it as having excellent recruiting skills. That’s basically the technical competence that we bring in. And then our value proposition, which completes the cycle to the needs. Maybe something like we deliver a fast and inspiring recruiting experience fostering diversity and curiosity.
So these are the puzzle parts there, and then we can bring all the different aspects together to write a purpose statement or process purpose statement, which could be something like “we inspire people with the greatest possible diversity and curiosity to support our organizational purpose of connecting people, cultures, and economies”.
I think, this is something which then will provide guidance for the design of the process as well as for execution. So whenever you are assessing employees, you can always refer as an recruiter to the statement. Do we have people here which are diverse, and with curiosity, does it support our organizational purpose of connecting people, cultures, and economies and so on.
That’s the idea. I would be really interested – if one of the Lufthansa HR colleagues is listening to this episode – if they already thought about setting up an process purpose statement for their recruiting process. It would be funny to get some feedback on that. So hopefully that example helps to understand how developing a process purpose could look like.
And then finally my recommendation is to have a look into the toolbox on NewProcessLab.com/toolbox. There you’ll find a process model of the process how to define process purpose. And there we have the process owner as the one being responsible for leading this process. And workshop participants being part of the workshop and so on.
There, you’ll also find advice on how to organize, how to prepare the workshop and how to moderate the workshop and how to communicate the results. So that’s my recommendation here at the end of our deep dive.
And that’s it. It’s so easy. By the way, the Process Purpose Canvas was not only developed together with Benjamin Rolff. He was one of the experts involved. It was also developed with Julia von Winterfeldt and she’s a real purpose expert. I’ll put her LinkedIn profile into the show notes as well. And you should check out her company, if you would like to think about purpose, then she’s the person I would recommend to go to in addition to Benjamin.
So to learn more, go to NewProcessLab.com/toolbox, and to have a look into the New Process Life Cycle. There, you’ll find the process description of “define process purpose”.
So just as a brief overview of what we talked about today: We had a close look onto the different types of purpose. Individual purpose, team purpose, process purpose and organizational purpose. It’s always the challenge to find the maximum overlap of these different types. I gave you the example of my own purpose “creating, inspiring experience” and how this could be lived within a process and in an organization.
Then we had a closer look onto how to develop a process purpose. Therefore, we have the process “define process purpose”, which is part of the New Process Life Cycle. And knowing the process purpose will give us guidance for design and execution of the process. And as tool you can use the Process Purpose Canvas. This is a very good guideline for setting up a workshop and in the end to inspire people. That’s the idea of the process purpose to inspire the people working in and on your process so that they know why we have this process and they can jump out of bed all day and be excited about working in that process and can use that as guidance and be motivated and so on.
That’s all for today. To give you an outlook onto what is coming up: We are now going to a more holistic topic in the next episode. I’ll talk to Michael Bögle from Lufthansa Technik. You know, I’m coming from that company. So I’d love to give you some insights. But in other episodes there will also be other guests for sure.
With Michael, I’m going to talk about how to lead more than 20,000 employees by processes. So they are working on processes for more than 20 years there. They have a really good maturity level and it definitely makes sense to listen to Michael and get some insights into his process management experience.
And that’s it for today. Thank you much for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode and maybe you’ll get some new inspirations to rethink your own process.
Thank you and auf Wiedersehen!
Jjust one final tip before you go. So if you would like to try out to develop your own process purpose statement, then I can recommend to you to just download the Process Purpose Canvas on NewProcessLab.com/purpose.
It’s free to download it. Just go to NewProcessLab.com/purpose. Enjoy, bye-bye!
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