Doing The Hard Work Well

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So today we are going to talk about the tough stuff….brace yourself!

If 2017 taught Hatched anything it is that occasionally bad things happen to good people……..well good businesses.   

Hold that thought.

We love February as it’s that time of year to visit existing and new clients to plan our year together.  It’s a chance to reflect on 2017 and think ahead to 2018.  There was an interesting tone to each conversation, an optimistic sense of saying goodbye to a few things, and most excitedly a chance to let new things in.   

We found ourselves listening to stories from each leader on continued purposeful business success a few tougher moments were front of mind. We won’t go into the details yet stories ranged from store expansions in new countries that didn’t quite work, challenging situations with leaders who may not be living their values and a few stories around activity misaligned with purpose. 

Interesting instead of these being stories of woe, they were uplifting stories of triumph and how each challenging situation has made each business stronger. That by doing the hard stuff well, by making tough decisions and doing it in a manner aligned your values and purpose, it actually makes you a better business.

No matter how purposeful or good your business is, it will experience its fair share of challenges. The key is not to assume this will never happen or to tuck it away under your ethically made mat. 

The true test of any purposeful business is how you respond when bad stuff happens.

Here are Hatched’s 5 tips for challenging situations:

1.   Let your purpose and values guide you: it will become very clear, very quickly when things are misaligned, feel it, listen to it, talk about it. You know when it’s happening, don’t ignore it.

2.   Act quickly: when something bad pops up you need to take quick decisive action in a way that is true to your purpose and values. Let the issue linger and it causes more problems or act in a manner that is misaligned with your values and your integrity will be questioned.

3.   Be 100% transparent: with your team and other stakeholders, share how and why this decision is misaligned with your purpose and values. Tell the real story. Speak directly to anyone impacted, spend time with your teams, speak from your heart, don’t use a boring business voice.

4.   Set up space for the team to learn or heal, especially those impact directly, to talk openly, share their thoughts and feelings. It stops all the hallway chatter and enables people to connect, learn from the situation and realign themselves to why they are there in the first place.

5.   Embrace the learnings from this situation and include your team in setting a new direction or strategy to make your business even stronger.

Many businesses leaders had to make some tough decision in 2017 and through doing so are feeling pumped about 2018. 

Doing the hard work well pays off.

So as your reward we are proposing 2018 as the year of the cleanse.

As you think about spraying a refreshing cucumber laden mist across your business we recommend just 3 things:

1.   Purpose check-in: get your team together, reconnect with your purpose, celebrate what you are doing well, but bravely ask yourself, what are we doing that doesn’t align with your purpose?

2.   Collective sensing: ensure your team has a forum to talk about anything that is popping up in a very open and honest way. Sensing as a collective is your radar for picking up any key issues early, and when you pick things up early it gives you time and space to deal with them effectively. 

3.   Individual purpose journeys: it’s all well and good to have a business purpose, but typically what is missing each of your team members understanding their own individual purpose. True magic happens when individual and business purpose connect. This is key to enable your people to grow and to equip them to make better decisions.

Here’s to 2018.

Hatched x

--- Want to talk to Hatched? Visit www.hatched.io or email hello@hatched.io.

Marketing Is Dead

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Hello Friends, its Hatched again and we are making a big claim this week.   Anyone who has spent a little time with us recently would have heard us squawking like an old parrot “marketing is dead…..marketing is dead….marketing is dead” as we trot around the streets like a crazy person claiming it is the end of the world.

As we shake our little Hatched feathers and come to our senses we realise this is a big call……. however, no one can ignore the signs that traditional marketing is taking its last breath exhausted from the glory days of television, kick-ass creative and boozy madmen’esque behaviour.   Many marketeers across the globe are clutching at ideas, trying to wrestle with social, facing declining budgets and attempting to reinvent themselves as consumers take things into their own hands waking up to old techniques of selling them stuff they don’t need.

As we give a shout out of genuine love to the amazing marketing people we partner with, we recognise we are all on a joint discovery to understand what marketing holds next.   So we offer you up an image that has come to us which feels like a return to putting a little more human back into how we form true transparent, authentic, empathetic relationships with our customers which are in the best interests of both the individual and business.   We hope over time this will replace words such as taglines, one-off campaigns, incentives, closing the deal, overcoming objections and pricing optimisation.

Take a look, tell us what you think and please add to the discussion. 

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The two triangles:

  • Purpose: putting your impactful purpose at the centre of all you do, your conversations, decisions and product/service design
  • Human Need: connecting every single person in your business to the deep human need that sits at the core of your offering
  • Relationship: genuine inclusive partnerships with consumers, intermediaries, and suppliers
  • Identity: beyond branding to storytelling, openness and an ongoing narrative

The four components:

  • Customer understanding:  hire people who love what your company does, have them spend time with customers and truly understand them.  Analytics are powerful but nothing beats understanding the highs, lows, hearts, and minds of your customers.  So get out of the office……now!
  • Proposition:  create a product or service that really, really works by taking friction out of your customer’s lives and see what happens…....hint…....magic!
  • Capability: invest in the capability of your people and partners through experiences and build true empathy with your customers, throw out traditional training approaches and start afresh.
  • Meaningful Experience: create an incredible customer experience that has a positive impact on their lives

It is easier said than done but those companies (like our clients) that do the elements of the above well say that marketing really takes care of itself needing  much smaller savvy investments in spending time where your customer hang out and being a true partner in the conversation, one that is welcomed with open arms and not seen as an intrusion.

Stay well!

Hatched x

Client Story - Teach Starter's Purpose Journey

This article was written by Scott Tonges from Teach Starter documenting their purpose story.   Full story here

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As Simon Sinek would say, “it starts with ‘Why’.”

At Teach Starter the ‘What’ is evident in our work. What we do is create the best teaching resources for primary and elementary school teachers around the world.
 
But the ‘Why’? Well, that’s a tougher proposition.

The ‘Why’ inspires us. It’s our purpose. It gets us out of bed every morning to do what we do. It brings our team and our community together to share in a common goal.

To find our ‘Why’, we had to dig a little deeper…

The Story So Far

Like seemingly all modern-day startup stories that emerge from humble beginnings, so too does Teach Starter.

Perched high on a hill overlooking the Bli Bli valley on the Sunshine Coast, was my grandparents’ home. Taking refuge from Queensland’s famous summer heat,  Jill and I sat under four great mango trees that lined the perimeter of the property’s western fence line.

A month earlier, the idea for Teach Starter began coalescing after I had helped Jill create a customised sign for her classroom, using Photoshop. Her colleagues soon requested their own versions.

Under the mango trees, Jill and I spoke at length about what other resource options were available. We concluded that we could provide quality, well-designed teaching resources that children and teachers alike would love to use in the classroom.

We spent the next six months creating resources to send out to our small but growing subscriber base, in a free monthly email. Our website was nothing more than a landing page, encouraging other enthusiastic teachers to sign up for free resources.

By January 1, 2013, we were ready to launch the Teach Starter website with over 200 pages of teaching resources (we now have over 40,000 pages). For a small fee each year, members could download all of the resources we offered. To our surprise, someone signed up on the first day.

Over the next four and a half years, Teach Starter grew from a team of two (Jill and I) to over a dozen talented, creative and unique individuals.

The Moment of Clarity

I think all along,  Jill and I have known our ‘Why’. We have just had difficulty articulating it. From what I have read, this is not uncommon. After a number of failed attempts we knew we needed help converting our thoughts into words.

For us, business has always been about more than the bottom line. Revenue is essential for the sustainability of a business; however, it shouldn’t come at the expense of all else. We have a responsibility to our team, our community and to those without the means to seek our help. It was with this in mind that we embarked on obtaining our B Corporation certification.

As described on their website, “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee”. It is a rigorous assessment of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

We had found our people!

A few weeks ago, Jill and I were invited to attend a B Corp morning tea to find more information about the assessment process, and hear from other certified B Corps within the community. It was at this meeting that we met Tim O’Brien.

Tim helps to build and transform businesses for positive impact, through his company Hatched.

Tim was the spark we needed to pull our ‘Why’ from the clouds and share it with the world. We spent three intensive days talking through all aspects of Teach Starter with Tim and our team, and at the end of it, were left with this…

Our impact model:

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To say I am proud of this sprawling scribble is an understatement. It is Teach Starter. It is the summation of five years of incredibly hard work, late nights and tough conversations, mixed with good times, milestones and ‘pinch-me’ moments. It brings a tremendous sense of clarity.

It is our ‘Why’.

The Future

Jill and I have always had grand ambitions for Teach Starter. Now we have a north star to lead us on a journey of purpose. We have our ‘Why’…

Our purpose is to make every classroom buzz.

We help children and teachers experience that state of happiness from being deeply engaged. We help teachers to feel that positive energy radiating from their classrooms when their students have had an ‘aha moment’. We want to encourage a love of learning.

Our vision is to inspire every child to build a purposeful and happy life through learning.

When we thought deeply about why we do what we do, it came down to our impact on the future. By providing equitable education for all, our dream is that more children will lead purposeful and happy lives, and this will flow on to future generations.

So why am I documenting and sharing our story?

As part of our impact model, we identified five key items we need to implement. The first item on that list is Storytelling.

I’m a huge believer that if you’re not producing content for social, your business is invisible. At Teach Starter, we are building a content team with the mandate of providing as much value as possible to our members, with no expectations in return. In order to prevent my own hypocrisy, it’s time I start being visible — one piece of content at a time!

So this is me, telling Teach Starter’s story in my own words, starting with ‘Why’.

Sinek would be proud.

- Scott Tonges from Teach Starter

Purpose Washing.....is it a thing?

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As Hatched hits the 18 month mark it has got us thinking.  Something keeps popping into our thought bubble.   Something is starting to unfold.  Something is up with purpose.  

Just like green washing was a thing, is purpose washing about to be a thing?    Are companies going to be, or are already, spending more time talking about their purpose as opposed to living their purpose?

Recent interactions with our amazing clients have this thought continually popping up:

·      Some of our clients are seeking to find another word for purpose, something different, even asking what happens beyond purpose?  

·      There is a bit of a joke i.e. not another one, going around the US at the moment for the 1-for-1 models i.e. you know the buy one of our products, we’ll give one to a person in need.  A wave of new start-ups are pushing this as a marketing exercise instead of leading with an exceptional product/service and it being a heartfelt added bonus.

·      Then the tricky one, some of our clients have undertaken purpose work prior to calling in Hatched.  What we are finding is purpose and impact are constantly getting confused as branding and another communication tool, as opposed to organisation design or redesign.

It is really exciting to see many companies are starting out on the purpose pathway.  Purpose-led companies should not be an exclusive thing, it something open to all businesses and is becoming a prerequisite for doing business.

Going on the purpose journey is actually really hard work.   It’s also the most exhilarating and rewarding thing you can do for yourself and your business.   It’s not something you can fake or only put one a toe in.

It takes a powerful yet vulnerable leadership, and collective self-awareness.  You need to uncover everything about yourself and discover the best form of yourself.  You need creativity, courage, willingness to commit, hard conversations and a little bit of magic.  

Defining your purpose and impact model is a human process.  There are isn’t a playbook.  If someone tries to sell you one, then walk away.  It’s about creating the right conditions for purpose to emerge through empathy, collaboration and connection.

So with this in mind here are seven tips for those on the purpose journey:

1.      Authentic: everything you do needs to be you. You must walk the talk all way through your business.   Once your purpose is defined, call out what doesn’t align and address it.  Include all your staff.  Trust me, these hard conversations are powerful and transformative.   Customers can sniff an inauthentic company a mile away.

2.     Integrate:  sounds boring yet this is where the power of purpose lies.   Companies get pretty excited about defining the why of their business and quite rightly so!  However, doing the work doesn’t stop here.   You actually need to integrate everything around your why, which creates the purpose.  This includes integrating the way you work, the meaningful experience your customers have, your core values and impact you have, including any impact initiatives. 

3.     Outcomes:  all of this work needs to actually deliver something.  A lot of people forget this bit.  Purpose work is practical work.  It needs to deliver outcomes, it needs to further your business objectives i.e. make you money, and it needs to elevate the impact you choose to have.

4.    Embed: one of Hatched’s two principles for implementation.  To be authentic you need to embed purpose into the everyday. It almost needs to become unremarkable, invisible, something that just is, everyone knows it and does it.   When customers interact with it they feel it.  This is what creates great companies.   Every stream of work you do needs to have purpose at the core.

5.     Connect:  the second of Hatched’s principles. Purpose doesn’t work unless every single one of your staff understand it and their own purpose is connected to it.  Involve your staff in the process of forming your purpose and following its creation, ensure everyone goes on their own personal journey to find this connection.  Support them through conversations and developmental experiences.

6.    Conflict: should be embraced.  Don’t shy away from the hard conversations, the opinion of others that do not align or the big decisions.   Ask the hard questions and repeat left field comments to find the meaning in it.   There will inevitably something that needs to be addressed, make it everyone’s responsibility, call it out and act on it.  Conflict enables creativity and clarity.

7.     Humble:  tell your story your way.  Make sure you actually tell your story (many of my clients are so humble they prefer not to).  People want to know what goes on behind the scenes.  Create a storytelling approach that is a natural extension of your purpose and personality, and you’ll see a huge impact.

Hatched is looking forward to the next 18 months to continue to partner with its clients rewrite the rule of business and grow their impact.   On this note, there is another tip which is critical.  Find someone who can guide you through this process.  It is intimate work, so find someone you trust and knows their stuff.

All the best for your purpose journey.

Hatched xxx

 

Oh so for those still contemplating the question, what is beyond purpose?   I’ll leave the detail for another post but the next evolutionary step for business is likely to be contentment and meaning.  We might need to redesign our whole economy to make this possible but it is exciting!

Hot House

In collaboration with Monica Bradley (innovator, board member, occasional ABC national rock star) Hatched is launching The Hot House.   A free, no-strings attached fast, fun and ferocious 3 hour session to support hot business solving wicked problems.  

Are you an impact entrepreneur looking to ignite your business?  Well enter the Hot House by emailing hothouse@hatched.io.  Appearing the last Friday (or so) of every month.  Applications now open for Brisbane.