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Why purpose is significant for the future of work

Thought Leadership Institute Digital Content Writer Catherine Galli, MPH, explores how coaches can connect people to purpose and energize purpose-driven transformation in the future of work.

Catherine Galli
Public Health
United States

Clear purpose helps individuals and communities create a better future

Purpose gets to the heart of why we do things. Coaches often work with clients to explore their motivations, values, and goals as a way of identifying purpose. When a person can name and connect with their purpose, it provides focus and energy to navigate life decisions. Coaches often work with clients to connect to purpose as a way to support resilience and growth through challenges. Purpose also brings people together, creating community and multiplying impact. In the world of work, organizations are harnessing purpose to engage employees, clients, communities, and other stakeholders to shape the future.

In our inaugural convening, TLI brought together eight global thinkers to consider “Humanity’s Quest for Meaning in the Future of Work.” During the convening, Wisdom Weavers explored how technological innovations and a shift to hybrid or remote work gave workers increased avenues to prioritize meaningful and personally satisfying tasks. While meaningful work remains an important trend in the future of work, purposeful work aspires to create lasting or large-scale impact. As a sign of this shift, organizations are naming “Chief Purpose Officers,” integrating purpose into employee wellness programs and establishing financial mechanisms to act on purpose.

Coaching skills and coaching conversations can amplify purpose-driven work on an organizational level and with individual clients. Considering these trends, coaches can help clients:

  1. Examine how purpose shapes motivation and action in work and life
  2. Connect with individuals or organizations over a shared purpose
  3. Explore how purpose drives innovation and problem-solving

Purpose energizes collaboration and creativity

In this collection, we want to highlight how people have an incredible capacity for creative problem-solving. In collaboration with others, human ingenuity multiples with amazing results. Through interviews, insight articles, and trend research, we explore how purpose is shaping work for employees, entrepreneurs, leaders, and organizations. We also highlight how coaches are engaging clients to energize purpose for a better future.

During the interview process, Dr. Neha Sangwan shared a beautiful metaphor: social impact leaders are tealights coming together to make a powerful flame. Building off this image, I want to take a moment to recognize and introduce our ten Wisdom Weavers — each of whom is working through purpose to create a brighter future:

Maria Emilia Correa is the co-founder of Sistema-B. Sistema-B promotes a new type of business in Latin America that partners with employees, customers, investors, civil society, and government to support social and environmental well-being.

Alan Eagle was moved by the example of his coach Bill Campbell to share coaching with new audiences. He is the founder of the TDC Network, connecting up-and-coming social impact leaders with world-class coaches.

Afsheen Ismail-Wey is an educator and a coach who helps leaders overcome fear and self-doubt as they work to lead human-centered workplace transformation through authentic, empathetic, and inclusive leadership.

Rebecca Kirstein Resch founded inqli to combine the science of well-being with the future of learning and work. Her platform helps people connect through purpose to support volunteerism, knowledge-sharing, and community in a remote environment.

Elizabeth Koehler works at BlackRock as the Head of Advisor Engagement, where she helps clients attain financial well-being so that they can enjoy what matters most in their lives.

Tor Mesoy is a coach and Founder of Agnus Consulting. Working with leaders globally, Tor helps clients explore the inner transformation needed to serve and transform their organizations.

Camille Preston, PhD applies business psychology to her coaching to elevate her clients social and emotional intelligence and their effectiveness in business and life.

Kristin Saboe, PhD uses science and research to drive large-scale strategy and policy. From her service with the U.S. Army to her work as the Head of Employee Voice at Google, her career centers on helping people reach their utmost potential.

Neha Sangwan, MD. As a doctor, engineer, and coach, Neha is helping organizations support employee well-being, reduce burnout, and bridge generations to inspire collaborative innovation.

Raj Sisodia, PhD is a co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement. Through his books, talks, and work as a Professor in Conscious Enterprise at Tecnológico de Monterrey, he is inspiring current and future business leaders to support global well-being through business.

Each of these Wisdom Weavers started out small, but their purpose continues to expand their impact to spread and inspire new waves of leaders. We invite you to consider how your purpose might spark new possibilities for the future of work and human development.

Catherine Galli,

May 30, 2023

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