A 10-15 minute exercise to explore ‘purpose’ in your team

In his March PinkCast, Dan Pink shares a quick 10-15 minute exercise that helps individuals and teams explore the concept of purpose.


He suggests you give each person an index card and get them write down their answer to this question :

What is the purpose of this organisation? (See previous post on ‘Start with Why’)

People don’t write their name on their cards – just their answer – and then hand the cards to the meeting organiser.

The organiser then reads a sample of them – and what is likely is that they will fall into one of two categories:

  1. Those that show a clear understanding of why the organisation exists, and
  2. Those that don’t! Either a cluster of words found somewhere in the mission statement, single words, question marks, even blank cards


The power of this simple exercise is that it is quick – and can help facilitate a conversation that helps get everyone on the ‘same page’. And it can help you work out the reasons why people are lacking clarity.


Perhaps try it at your next team meeting? And if the team’s purpose is a better starting place – try that too!

Click here to see this video.