A Team Needs a Purpose

A team needs a purpose, a raison d’être, an objective.

Without a purpose it isn’t really a team, just a bunch of people.

If you agree, then it seems reasonable that the clearer that purpose, the stronger the teamwork.

Is it clear what the purpose of your team is?

  • Is it memorable?
  • Can you write it down?
  • Can your team write it down?
  • Or is it management fluff?
  • Do you know how well you have done?
  • Can you measure how you are doing?
  • Do you discuss progress?
  • Honestly, with your team (not just your boss)?
  • Do you talk with your team about how you could meet your purpose better?
  • And then do something about it?
  • Who decided what that purpose is?
  • Does it support the teams around you?
  • And the whole organisation?

Lots of questions

All of them obvious. But can you answer them?

If you can’t then you may be managing people but without a purpose you can’t be managing a team.

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Image by PV KS

Read another opinion


  1. Fair enough, James. I suspect most people don’t know their company’s purpose, much less their team’s. For a blog post a while ago, I researched this topic. Purposes aren’t clearly or widely publicized or shared, either. I would add “is it communicated?” or “do you know what it is?” as the first question.

    Annette :-)

    • James Lawther says:

      Totally agree, so how why on earth do we expect people to do the right thing if they don’t know what it is?

  2. Hi James,
    Simple questions that can have a profound effect but are too often skipped over or assumed there are answers to and they are known and understood.

    The first question “Is it clear what the purpose of your team is?” is the killer question.


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