It was an honor to be interviewed by Melinda Wittstock! Melinda is a successful entrepreneur and leader dedicated to helping women achieve their best in business and in life. Her podcast, Wings of Inspired Business, has become my go to podcast for not only inspiration, but also practical tips I can apply in leadership and in life.
And, this woman is connected! She has interviewed women such as Christy Whitman. Christy is a transformation leader and New York Times bestselling author. And scientist entrepreneurs like Gitte Pedersen who is changing the future of healthcare by revolutionizing cancer treatments.
And, make sure to download your free gift!
A digital copy of Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy. The interactive adult (and family) coloring and activity book designed to add more happiness and health to your life (and future)!
Purpose, Vision and the Future
Purpose and vision are two key elements when creating and living your desired future. Individuals and organizations investing in transformation must make the time explore and clearly define their purpose and their vision. It is an important first step in my futuring and coaching process and is especially important for women (and men) who find themselves in new, and many times unexpected, stages and ages of life.
One of my top Strengths is Learner, and I am always interested in learning more about ways to help clients dive into their inner and outer worlds worlds. I am in the last of three online strategic foresight courses offered by Singularity University, and I am really excited about their lesson on developing what they call the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP).
I am sitting at my computer working on my new and improved MTP right now (aka my homework). The great thing about this assignment is that I can use and apply the information in my own life. It is the end of 2018, and I have fresh, global perspectives that are making me think differently about my business. New opportunities are popping up everyone, and I need to decide where to focus my time and talents. I am looking forward to walking through this process – not just for my homework – but to improve my work and life as well!
Take a look at the process below and share your MTP’s with me. I would love to hear from all of you!!
Go Wild and Share Your MTP!
Eradicating diseases, mastering flight, near-instant global communication, going to the moon—humans have developed a taste for making the impossible possible.Though we still face a daunting list of global challenges, we’ve learned that science and technology can uncover big solutions. But mind-blowing breakthroughs don’t just happen. They take teams of bright and dedicated people chipping away at the problem day and night. They take a huge amount of motivation, toil, and at least a few failures.To solve our biggest problems, we need people to undertake big tasks. But what drives someone to take on such a difficult, uncertain process and stick with it?There’s a secret to motivating individuals and teams to do great things: It’s purpose.Social movements, rapidly growing organizations, and remarkable breakthroughs in science and technology have something in common—they’re often byproducts of a deeply unifying purpose. There’s a name for this breed of motivation.It’s called massive transformative purpose or MTP.Setting out to solve big problems brings purpose and meaning to work—it gives us a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning and face another day.Peter Diamandis likes to say, “Find something you would die for, and live for it.”The more we organize around massive transformative purpose, the harder we’ll work, the more dedicated we’ll be, the faster we can solve big problems—and maybe most importantly, the more fulfilled we’ll feel about the work we do.This article will explore ideas we’ve learned from some of our favorite big thinkers on what makes an MTP and how to find and implement yours.
Understanding Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)
In 2014, Salim Ismail published Exponential Organizations, co-authored by Mike Malone and Yuri van Geest. In the book, the team analyzed the 100 fastest growing organizations and synthesized their key traits. They discovered every single company on the list had a massive transformative purpose. In the simplest sense, an MTP is a “highly aspirational tagline” for an individual or group, like a company, organization, community, or social movement. It’s a huge and audacious purpose statement.
Elon Musk and SpaceX are a good example for understanding MTPs. Musk didn’t found SpaceX to have a luxurious retirement on Mars or just for the sake of building the most profitable aerospace company. He’s driven by the belief humans must become a multi-planetary species. Making this a reality is his purpose. SpaceX’s MTP to revolutionize space technology and enable people to live on another planet creates a shared aspirational purpose within the organization. Notice that SpaceX’s MTP is:
- Huge and aspirational
- Clearly focused
- Unique to the company
- Aimed at radical transformation
MTPs are not representative of what’s possible today; they’re aspirational and focused on creating a different future. This aspirational element is what ignites passion in individuals and groups; it’s what engages people’s hearts and minds to work together to realize their goal.
SpaceX’s MTP does this so well that they’ve also activated a cultural shift outside of the company’s walls, which is a secondary effect of having a strong MTP. Other examples Ismail, Malone, and van Geest note in their book include the massive lines that form when Apple releases a new iPhone or the huge waitlist each year to get a seat at TED’s annual conference. MTPs can inspire whole communities and evangelists to form around them.
Four examples of strong massive transformative purposes
As you read through these examples try to identify how each one fulfills each letter of MTP.
- TED: “Ideas worth spreading.”
- Google: “Organize the world’s information.”
- X Prize Foundation: “Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
- Tesla: “Accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation.”
Hopefully, this helps explain what an MTP is. But there are other kinds of motivating messages out there. What distinguishes an MTP from all the rest? An MTP is not:
- Just a company’s mission statement.
- Technology specific or narrowly focused.
- Representative of what is possible today.
- Motivated only by profits.
- Just a big goal or even a “big hairy audacious goal.” (It must also be driven by a purpose to create transformative impact.)
A successful MTP can often be reframed into a question. That question can then be used to evaluate organizational decisions and whether they’re aligned with the MTP. For example, if the organization TED is deciding whether to move forward with a talk they can ask, “Is this an idea worth spreading?”
The competitive advantages of an MTP
Having an MTP can trigger incredible outcomes, which is why high-growth organizations all tend to have them. The aspirational quality of an MTP pushes teams to prioritize big thinking, rapid growth strategies, and organizational agility—and these behaviors all have substantial payoffs in the long term. As an MTP harnesses passion within an organization, it also galvanizes a community to form outside the company that shares the purpose. This sparks an incredible secondary impact by helping organizations attract and retain top qualified talent who want to find mission-driven work and remain motivated by the cause. Additionally, when people are aligned on purpose, it creates a positive feedback loop by channeling intrinsic motivation towards that shared purpose. Finally, like a north star, an MTP keeps all efforts focused and aligned, which helps organizations grow cohesively. As the organization evolves and scales, the MTP becomes a stabilizer for employees as they transition into new territory.
How to begin creating an MTP
Peter Diamandis boils down two main areas of focus to identify your purpose:
- Identify the who: Ask yourself who you want to impact. What community do you want to create a lasting positive impact for? Is it high school students? The elderly? People suffering a chronic disease? These are just a few examples of potential groups to focus your purpose towards.
- Identify the what: What problem do you want to take on and solve? Here’s an exercise created by Diamandis to identify the “what” of your purpose:
Step one: Write down the top three items you are most excited about or get you most riled up (that you want to solve).
Step two: For each of the three problems listed above, ask the following six questions and score each from 1-10. (1 = small difference; 10 = big difference)
ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS 1. If at the end of your life you had made a significant dent in this area, how proud would you feel? 2. Given the resources you have today, what level of impact could you make in the next three years if you solved this problem? 3. Given the resources you expect to have in 10 years, what level of impact could you make in a 3-year period? 4. How well do I understand the problem? 5. How emotionally charged (excited or riled up) am I about this? 6. Will this problem get solved with or without you involved?
TOTAL = Add up your scores and identify the idea with the highest score. This is your winner for now. Does this one intuitively feel right to you?
Have an MTP? Here’s what to do next
Realizing an MTP requires a different type of thinking. It requires a mindset and work environment that leans into complex problems and dares to think big—really big. SpaceX isn’t where they are today because they focused on making 10% improvements to existing aerospace technology. And Google’s self-driving car isn’t the byproduct of a goal to make a 10% improvement to driving. 10% thinking leads to incremental progress, which doesn’t lead to making the impossible possible—like sending people to the moon. Through history, however, we’ve learned that radically big thinking can lead to these types of breakthroughs. You have the recipe for creating a massive transformative purpose to push you and your organization to the next level of performance and impact. Now, it’s time to get to work.
Download a checklist for writing your own MTP, and share your ideas with us @singularityhub.
Image credit: Shutterstock
My whirlwind 2018 global tour is at an end. Japan was awesome, and I had the time of my life presenting with a panel of incredible women at the 2018 Global Women’s Forum in Paris, France.
However, the best part of it all…an Instagram post from one of the members of the Rural Futures team – thanks Katelyn!! You are incredible.
Thanks for going a little wild and helping us all be our best Ki!
One of my favorite things to do is work with leaders who are eager to shape the future. I especially enjoy working with leaders in the $3 trillion healthcare space. Why? Their world is being disrupted at an increasingly rapid pace, and many leaders in this important industry are doing what they can to innovate and shape the future. I also appreciate the fact that women comprise a large portion (approximately 75%!) of the healthcare industry. When I help hospitals and other other healthcare organizations reinvent their futures, I am helping female leaders, their families and their communities. Thanks Western Healthcare Alliance and all involved for taking on this important conversation about leading innovation to help build a better future for all the people and communities your serve.
After months of work, a lot of learning and some fun times, the Rural Futures podcast has officially launched!
Thanks to our guests, the RFI team (Katelyn Ideus, our podcast producer and champion, sounds amazing! T: The scheduling has totally paid off…and, Katy-you make us all sound incredible!!) and partners (thanks Ali Schwanke and the team at Simple Strat) for making this happen!
Listen follow, and provide us with your feedback and ideas!
I just read a brilliant article by Ada Calhoun, The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It’s hitting Gen X Women.
Gen X, the generation often ignored by researchers, employers or even in basic conversations and presentations about generational differences, had a very different upbringing when compared to their parents or their children. We are an ambitious generation that created successful companies but also struggled in careers while figuring out how to “balance” work, family and gender dynamics. Many remained unmarried and childless by choice. Others married and had children much later in life than previous generations-yes, that’s me!
Midlife has changed, and there is little understanding of midlife challenges and opportunities in the modern era. I agree with Calhoun about many of the challenges (underemployment, regret about life decisions, etc). However, I also think our bold and courageous generation continues to shape the world in many positive ways. Gen X continues to shape organizations, businesses and communities with their independence, work ethic and drive to have a personal life.
The pressure many Gen Xers put on themselves can be a blessing but also a curse. One key to a more positive midlife is letting go of regret and so much self-censoring while making life more of an adventure. Generally speaking, many of us were bold and independent in our youth. We are the generation of big hair, shaved sides, multiple piercings, video games, loud music and mohawks. If there is any generation who can find ways to enjoy it all more-it is ours. Gen X has done more for this country than most people realize without receiving or even needing the credit for their accomplishments. We have been leading under the radar for most of our lives, and it is time to raise our hands and voices to audaciously shape the future, especially for women (more on this in a later post).
What does this more modern midlife look like to you? How are you dealing with the challenges, pressures and stress? What great adventures are you having in your midlife? What new opportunities are you pursing? Let us know by leaving a comment. We would enjoy hearing from you!
Enjoy OWN’s hilarious video:
Thanks to all who have served and are currently serving. Also, a BIG thanks to your families. It is a privilege to honor our Veterans.
I especially want to thank my Father-in-Law. He served in the Navy during the Korean War. Ken was a great man who was proud of his service. He also enjoyed being an active member of the Legion. I thought of him when I heard Taps earlier today. We miss you Kenny!
I would not be able to post to this blog or express my opinions without the freedom so many of us enjoy (and take for granted) in this great country. May we always value the sacrifice and service of those who make this country great.
Let freedom ring!
My new favorite book is, “The Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days,” by John Lee Dumas (aka JLD). John Lee Dumas hosts the EO Fire business podcast. I listen to EO Fire every week, and I really enjoy how JLD continuously points out the importance of focusing on specific goals and taking action. He wrote the Freedom Journal to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals. I had to get a Freedom Journal to experience the 100 day transformation for myself.
If you have been following my posts on AskDrConnie.com, you know that I prefer the word “Intention” instead of goal. Here’s why:
Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions (what many people call goals) often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.
Intentions have the power to strengthen your “Inner Leader” and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.
Life in our 40’s can be a fascinating time of change. Oftentimes, it is important for women over the age of 40 to reassess their goals, dreams and true intentions. A few questions I encourage women to ask themselves:
- How do you define success?
- How are you using your intuition to guide your decisions? Has it kicked into overdrive because it is trying to lead you into a new direction?
- What do you want to experience?
Sometimes, it is time for a change. The great thing is that you have the freedom to decide to make the changes and adjustments that best suit you. You just need to make sure you are headed for the right change!
The Freedom Journal is my new favorite book. It is a tool I can use to clarify my intentions and help keep my busy life focused. I will keep you posted on my 100-day journey and a few other adventures (my trip to Wyoming, etc.) as well!
Go Wild with Your Freedom!
It’s almost time for me to take off and present, The Future of Leadership, at the Heartland Center for Leadership’s Annual Institute.
I will focus on the future of leadership in rural communities and plan to ask the audience a few questions about trends they see emerging now, in five years and in ten years. From my experience, women over 40 have great insights in the past, present and future. So, I would enjoy the opportunity to hear from this audience!
What do you see, think and feel on this topic?
What trends (changes in society, the economy and the environment) do you see currently? What trends to you see impacting society in 5 years? What about 10 years?
Next up, the Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) Summit in York, NE. While this summit is focused on young professionals, I am going to bring a future-focused approach to the theme of the summit: Creating Life Balance.
This is a topic I know a lot of you have a great deal of experience with because you have been “balancing life” and “doing it all” for quite some time.
As women who have experience and wisdom to share, what advice would you give to Millennials who are seeing more life balance? I would love to use your insights in my presentation later this month.
Please leave a comment and share your leadership wisdom!
Go Wild with Wisdom,