It is not the words of a company vision that count, as much as the conversation that goes on around the water cooler about the purpose of an organisation. The notion of including all personnel in a conversation about business purpose is very effective.

Sam Palmisano, current CEO of IBM conducted a “Values Jam” on the IBM intranet over 3 days a few months after his appointment. This generated 40,000 “conversations” about purpose across the business, with Sam acting as both participant and final arbiter.

The outcome is a set of words that has stood IBM in great stead over the last 6 years, and all employees know, they have the opportunity to contribute.

Subsequently, the “jam” concept has been used by IBM to inform a range of other issues from their internal innovation  “jam” in 2006 which resulted in 10 new businesses with $100 million in seed funding,  to the 2008 “habitat jam” held on behalf of the UN.

These activities only work because they unleash the power of a common purpose in their participants, have you considered how to unleash the power of your networks?