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Purpose - Can You Work Without It?

May 11, 2022


Robb: What’s the problem with working without purpose? Can you do it? Sure. You can do it, but I mean, Greg, what do you say, like, can we just work without purpose?

Greg: Yeah, you can, but I think that It only works if you just like things to do and don’t really want to be accomplished in what your work is. But I think after a time, you kind of run out of steam with that. I mean you can only do so much and then exhaustion kicks in, you know?

Robb: Sure, yeah. When you have no real reason to do the work that you do, why do you keep going? When it’s 5 o’clock why would you continue working if you have no purpose? Like, if your purpose is just to get a paycheck you punch your clock and you get out.

Greg: Right. I think the longer people get into it, eventually then, it's just the benefits of basically that, just collecting the check, clock in clock out, call it a day. And you know, there is a time and a place for that kind of work, but there's a lot of businesses that suffer because people don't actually have purpose behind it. They do just that, clock in clock out.

Robb: Yeah, and then in Scrum we have two ways to talk about purpose. We have a Product Goal which gives us focus for a while on developing something for a product to make it better, accomplishing some larger business goal, and then every Sprint we have Sprint Goals — and I know nobody actually cares about this and they watch the other YouTube videos we have on the subject — but purpose is super important! I mean, just look at Dan Pink's video about “Drive”: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. And it’s surprising how many people just forget about purpose.

Greg: When I think about what people get excited about, there's always a reason for it. And so maybe that's another word behind it. You got a purpose — that sounds maybe a little churched up for some — but just honestly having a reason behind it. I'm doing this, “because”. But then when you have a bigger cause or a bigger reason for your work? Wow, I think that's just something you can get behind. You actually start enjoying things with people that you do the work for. I think that enhances collaboration and actually doing work with people versus just being in a silo or working in a cave or you know minding your own business.

Robb: Sure. We need purpose, but yeah, great topic.

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