The Thriving Projects Series. 7 Have a heart

7. Have a heart

Have you ever been asked to manage a project that doesn’t feel quite right, and you just can’t understand why? You wish you were more excited and able to get on board with its direction; you find yourself searching for the inspiration to ensure its success. You tell yourself it’s just ‘one of those jobs’; you put your head down and get on with it. But what if the real reason behind this lack of enthusiasm was that your project needed a heart – a deeper purpose, if you will.

This post will help you expose your project’s beating heart and uncover its purpose. You’ll discover ways of finding that much-needed inspiration, your team will get it, your audience will feel it, and last but not least, your boss will be impressed that you managed to breathe life into something that, if they were honest, they thought was beyond saving.

How do I expose the heart and soul of my project or business?

So you have a hunch that your project, business, brand or campaign would benefit from a closer look at its reason for being, but how do you discover its purpose? Now is the time to take a step back from the jargon and buzzwords handed to you during your briefing, take the bare bones of what you have been asked to achieve and leave any unnecessary clutter behind. Next, spend some time with your new stripped-back brief (which could be enough to fill a post-it note) and think about how you want the end result to make people feel and what legacy it will leave behind? Think beyond making a profit. Have a play, write down a few ideas and prioritise them until you find the right fit.

Where can you make a difference?

Most of us are fully aware that climate change is happening, and we know that we need to better protect the planet for future generations. Most of us are also aware that poverty, gender inequality, unemployment, and underfunding in the UK healthcare and education system, to name but a few, are some of the very real challenges facing our society today.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer severity of the situation worldwide; it’s even easier to bury our heads in the sand and pretend none of it is happening, but consumers are starting to vote with their wallets. A recent Forbes article stated that a whopping 71% of consumers will purchase from a purpose-driven company over the alternative. Nearly 80% of consumers are likelier to remember a company with a strong purpose and 4.5 times more likely to recommend it to friends and family.

A growing proportion of consumers and clients have an increased expectation that businesses should take their share of responsibility for improving the world around them, so now it’s time to think about the pressing issues in the world; how do the findings above link to these issues? 

The United Nations has identified 17 areas in which they want to see significant improvement by 2030. Look at the list, read the summary and think about which ones align with your product or service, or your values. Which area could you contribute to improving?  

Setting the mission ?

You’ve uncovered the deeper purpose of the project, and you’ve identified an area to focus on to help improve its legacy.

Now, use all of your knowledge to set the mission. These examples from well-known brands will inspire you; how do these statements make you feel, and can you tell which areas in the diagram above they are helping to improve?

We’re in business to save our home planet. 


Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.

To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them

To make all chocolate 100% slave-free.

Good news! You’ve found the pulse of your project.

Now that you have found the motivation and emotion behind why this project, brand, business, or campaign should exist, you can use it to guide you. For a project to succeed, it should have motivation for change or a more profound purpose beyond making a profit. So, next time that tricky project comes in, will you just get your head down and get it out the door, or would you rather dig a little deeper and expose its beating heart? 

Do you need us to help expose the heart of your project?
We would love to help you make a difference.
Get in touch today.

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