The Team Purpose Canvas is a simple and effective way to design your team purpose.
Align the team around a shared purpose.
Part 1 – Define why the team exists
#1 – What is our job as a team?
In one sentence, write down what your team does, what it delivers, or what it produces. Have the different team members share their ideas; each one can contribute 2 or 3. Cluster the responses based on similarities and rank them from most to least important.
If your team delivers or produces several things, try to find one concept that that represents the majority of the work. For example, “Our team designs user-friendly online shopping experiences” or “Our team turns data into valuable insights to improve decision making across the organization.”#2 – Who do we work for?
Identify the different groups or stakeholders that your team works for. Choose the top one.
For example, are you helping senior executives across the board make better decisions, or are your insights only for the sales or marketing department? Do you serve a particular office or the entire organization?#3 – What impact do we want to create?
Your team purpose should capture why your team exists. Understand the pains and gains of who you work for. How can you help them do a better job? Most importantly, what’s the end impact you want to create in their lives beyond just a functional contribution?
For example, “Our managers can spend more time leading” or “Advisors can take care of their clients.”
The HR department at CVS defines its team purpose as, “To help our leaders hire great talent.”Part 2 – Write your team purpose statement
Use the Mad Lib on the template to craft the team purpose statement.
Here are some examples:
“Our team provides efficient support so that our managers can spend more time leading, rather than performing administrative work. “
“Our team continually comes up with new solutions so that our organization stays at the forefront of innovation.”
“Our team takes care of our advisors so that they can take care of their clients.”
Purpose-driven teams become ambassadors. When employees are part of something bigger than themselves, they inspire others to join the movement.
Teams are often busy delivering their work with little idea of why they’re doing it – having a clear purpose increases motivation and engagement.
A purpose is the north star; it guides people’s behavior, especially during stormy weather. The purpose is the reason why people want to work together, collaborate, and achieve a shared goal.
While core values are guardrails for how people make decisions and behave, the purpose defines the why.