Purpose Identity Meaningfulness Satisfaction

Here’s my current way to think about the four related concepts of Purpose, Identity, Meaningfulness, and Satisfaction.

I find the delineation between Self (Corporate Strategy level) and Social (Job Roles level) particularly useful – separating Purpose from Meaningfulness has implications on role design and communications.

For an individual

Purpose

Identity

Meaningfulness

Satisfaction

What I am here to do.

My life’s work.

My reason for being.

Who I am.

What I am about.

My passions.

What makes me special and worthwhile.

Meaningfulness: “[A job feels meaningful when we] generate delight or reduce suffering in others.” — Alain de Botton in The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

Excellence, achievement, and recognition.

“I have done well.”

Individuality

Contribution

Self

Social (self plus others)

Internal beliefs

External actions and outcomes.

The big big picture.

More focused/task-oriented.

Whole of life.

Jobs, projects, tasks, relationships, community, and other life activities.

For a business

Purpose

Identity

Meaningfulness

Satisfaction

Our reason for existing as a business.

Brand.

Core value proposition.

Create delight and reduce pain.

Excellence, achievement, and recognition.

Corporate strategy level

Job roles level

Internal beliefs that informs strategy and other decision making.

Operations, execution, outcomes, and social programmes.

Leave a Comment