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Two Key Points for Purpose Activation


In 2010, Derek Sivers, an American entrepreneur and writer, gave a TED talk about how to start a movement. He starts by showing a video clip with a lone dancer at an outdoor festival.


The lone dancer starts dancing by himself. After a while, the first follower joins. The newly formed duo continues to dance. Sivers points out an important observation.


"A movement must be public. It's important to not just show the leader, but the followers. Because you find the new followers emulate the followers, not the leader."


The footage continues. Slowly more and more followers join the party and a large crowd forms. A movement is ignited.


Expanding on Sivers' talk, this dancing video offers us two key lessons on how to activate purpose for organizations.


  1. The leader must dance. In the context of purpose activation, leaders must not stop communicating the organization's purpose. More importantly, leaders must walk the talk; their actions must be aligned to the purpose.

  2. Identifying your initial followers - the ones who truly believe in the purpose. Make the movement public by giving the initial followers a platform. Create opportunities for them to dance - to talk about the purpose, their interpretation, and their stories.


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