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Grand Challenges and Noble Purpose

Had a really ineresting conversation with my good friend and bestselling
author, Lisa
McLeod,
the other day. Of course we recorded it! Here’s an excerpt:

Seth: 
What is the relationship between Noble Purpose and a Grand Challenge?

Lisa:
A Noble Purpose is why an organization exists. A Grand Challenge is an
initiative that will be driven by your Noble Purpose. Your Noble
Purpose describes how you make a difference to your customers and
constituents; how you do that differently than your competition; and on
your best day, what do you love about your job? In other words, the
emotional component. It does so in a very succinct statement.

A Grand Challenge would be a huge, mission-critical, purpose-driven
initiative you launch that will help your association achieve its Noble
Purpose.  You might have a different Grand Challenge every year,
but your Noble Purpose stays the same because it�s your lodestone, your
north star.

You have to have clarity of Noble Purpose to fuel your Grand Challenge.
If you have clarity of purpose, and your Grand Challenges are in
service of your Noble Purpose, people will see you building momentum
instead of lurching from one thing to the next.

Seth:
I have been talking with associations about something I call the
�Central Organizing Principle.� The World Bank�s is to alleviate poverty. The Council of
Better Business Bureaus is to advance
marketplace trust
. The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind�s is independence for the visually impaired.
These are all Noble Purposes, aren�t they?

Lisa:
To make them a Noble Purpose, I would put �We� in front of them.
Everyone from the receptionist to the CEO needs to be really clear on
how what he or she is doing contributes to that. Putting �we� in front
of the statement makes it personal:

World Bank: We alleviate poverty.
Council of Better Business Bureaus: We
advance marketplace trust.

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind: We
provide independence for the visually impaired.

To your point, a Noble Purpose is an organizing principle. Every
decision has to be run through that filter.

—-
If you would like to listen to another excerpt of my conversation with
Lisa, visit VisionaryTalk.com,
and scroll down.


The purpose of art is washing the dust of
daily life off our souls.


Pablo Picasso