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2 minutes

How can you actually measure purpose?

by Henk Jansen

When Trep and I separated ways a while ago he gave me a communication transponder based on his latest invention. Just fill it with sand, he said and press the ‘com’ button, we can then instantly communicate. It will save you the time of travelling to Area-51. So I will now share with you my first transponder contact with Trep! 

The last time I spoke to Trep we discussed the importance of purpose on his planet and how it gives way to your sense of significance, beliefs and values and that you can base your decisions on them while creating your unique business path. I find this idea very appealing but encounter at the same time a challenging question. I explained to Trep that on planet earth we like to measure everything. It gives us a sense of control and insight in progress so we can learn and adapt. The main focus of measurement on earth is turnover, revenue, efficiency etc. But how to measure purpose and where to place these numbers in it?

Trep told me he could relate to the idea of measuring but it’s not just measuring what you can. There has to be a guiding thought to it. On planet ‘PRPSINC’ measurement is also very important but the real challenge is to define what you think supports your purpose instead of trying to measure purpose itself, and not just plain result driven numbers. He gave me a nice direction to follow.

It all starts of course with purpose. Since this is an abstract statement of the contribution you want to give to the world this presents at the same time the limit in measuring it. Measuring something abstract is hard if not impossible. If you want to measure purpose you have to find a way to make it less abstract. The more specific the better. It is easier to measure ‘hours of sport’ than to measure ‘contribution to physical health’. So how does this work with purpose?

Trep advised me to first define the values which support my purpose, and then specify the activities that need to be performed to answer to these values. To give you an example, if ‘joy’ is a value that supports your purpose, measure the activity you undertake to support this value, for example ‘celebration of success’. This can be anything as long as you think it’s a behavioural expression of this value. Do this for every value you define. 

Eventually you want to align your values with your team, your business processes and to match them with the values of your customer. You will find that you can create activities you want to measure which support these aligned values. Of course there is room for measuring numbers. Just consider if they contribute to your purpose and values.

To measure purpose is to measure behaviour that supports it on all levels.

To understand how the right purpose brings you direction, discover the Wyseway questionnaire or to see Henk’s video discussion with Julie on the power of purpose, click here.

You can also continue reading more about Trep here