New Year, Fresh Slate: Re-centering Your Company Values, With Live Scribing

imagethink graphic recording used a puzzle mission statement at their winter offsite
Setting time aside to reflect on how each team mate’s efforts fit into the bigger puzzle is essential to a purpose-driven organization.

Picturing A Purpose-Driven Team

In the day to day shuffle of tasks, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the purpose that drives your business forward. The daily deluge of deadlines can have a dangerous effect on the way we relate to our colleagues, our clients, and our larger organizational goals. It can lead to misaligned priorities, career burn out, and divest work of a sense of meaning.

With the year still new and shiny, it’s the perfect time to hit the reset button at work, and re-center your team around the reason you all show up to work: what Simon Sinek calls, in his inspiring TED talk, your central “Why.”

Live scribing and infographics can be invaluable tools when it comes to re-discovering what motivates your team. They have the potential to provide a shared framework of understanding and can act as reminders of goals and priorities during particularly tasking periods.

Here are a few live scribing exercises to refocus your team for 2019 and remind everyone why they ignore the siren call of the snooze button and show up to work instead.

Ona Rygelis, graphic recorder of ImageThink, scribes on a whiteboard with post it notes.
A well-defined mission statement is the first step towards a motivated organization.

Define Your Values…

If you haven’t already defined your company’s core values, now is the time to do it. Along with a distinctive mission statement, well-defined values are foundational when it comes to keeping a team aligned and energized. Your values should be as succinct and specific as possible, defined in no more than one sentence each. Just as importantly, because they should be easily remembered, aim to limit yourself to no more than five core values.

Ask your team: What does it look like when we show up to our job with our best selves? What characteristics do we want to be seen as embodying? What sets us apart from our competition? What standards do we hold ourselves to within our industry, and how do they make us unique?

Have a live scribe illustrate your team’s responses on an office wall where everyone can see them. When the to-do list is starting to feel overwhelming or stale, this visualized value map will keep the bigger purpose of your work in perspective.

…And Illustrate How Your Team Embodies Them

With your values clearly defined, it’s time for the important work to begin: finding ways become personally invested in them.

At your next team meeting, ask your colleagues to describe a moment that another teammate embodied one of your company values, and how it benefited themselves, your clients, and your larger organizational goals. Have a graphic recorder illustrate each anecdote in real time, and frame them as a gift to the team mates they describe.

This simple exercise gives everyone a chance to feel appreciated for the way their daily tasks contribute to a larger goal, and to digest the importance of the values to which you have all committed yourselves. Want to keep the good will going? Try hanging the sketchnotes in the office space as a catalyst for meaningful conversation in the future.

imagethink graphic recorders use post it notes to define their values during a company offsitePost-it notes are a great way to map out how every task links back to your ultimate organizational goals.

Draw Out Your Map Of Purpose

The story goes like this: When JFK first visited NASA’s HQ in 1961, he bumped into a janitor sweeping the floor. When the president asked him what his job was at NASA, he responded without missing a beat, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

What the janitor understood is the way that every small action, when committed with intention, can serve a purpose much larger than itself. Remembering that can empower team mates to invest their tasks—even the most mundane—with an energizing and focusing sense of meaning.

If your team is having trouble finding the value behind their day to day, try mapping out the chain of purpose. At the top of a board, scribe your company’s mission and vision. Below that, list out the KPIs of your organization’s health. Finally below that, list out a chain of larger goals and how they splinter into smaller and smaller tasks, one supporting from and necessitating the next.

Putting small tasks into the context of larger organizational goals can not only help everyone recognize the value of their own work. It also fosters understanding of how each role impacts and supports another, which is crucial for meaningful collaboration.

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