The Point Is The Purpose Of It All

As SAM Professionals we have a responsibility to keep the discipline alive, relevant, and growing. Attracting talent is one of the major concerns.

When I entered the work force the internet was just a thought. I used a typing pool for producing documents. When I finally got a computer for personal/business use, it was a big box with a tiny screen. We moved data from computer to computer with big disks that were floppy (yes really: how did you think they got that name.). Everyone worked in the office and had a desk. Men wore ties; women wore dresses. All meetings were in person, and you had to be in the room. You lived where your office was located or commuted into that location.

For the reader under 50 who has no concept of any of these work realities I am not trying to horrify you. The point is to emphasize how the workplace has changed over the years. Now add the march of technology and a global pandemic. It is reasonable to say the work world is changed forever.

As SAM Professionals we have a responsibility to keep the discipline alive, relevant, and growing. One the biggest contributors to SAM’s future is the talent we can attract. I have engaged in many discussions recently that revolve around how SAM attracts and retain talent. Many factors are discussed but one is poorly represented.

That factor is the articulating and marketing SAM’s PURPOSE.

Research seems to coalesce around the following thought on Purpose:

Creating purposes throughout the organization allows departments, teams and individuals to add their own statements of purpose to that of the enterprise. So, creating a statement of purpose for your department, the teams within it and the change initiatives you undertake can provide clarity, direction and focus for all concerned.1

In addition, we are in the midst of nothing less than a talent revolution with 40% of people saying they plan to leave their current employer (based on a Microsoft survey) and 43% of businesses reporting they will seek to increase headcounts (based on a McKinsey study). When people choose to leave a company, join a new organization or remain with their current role, purpose is a factor which will significantly influences their choices.2

The point is:

Just as the workplace has fundamentally changed from the beginning of my career, how you formulate the value of SAM needs to change also. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself a few questions about your SAM efforts.

• What is our reason for existing?
• What are we good at doing as it relates to areas inside and outside the organization?
• What do we hope for and enjoy?
• How are we unique?
• What would we like to be famous for?

So, reader as you look to start, grow, and mature your SAM program maybe it is time to articulate a strong purpose statement of why you do SAM in addition to what it is. The Purpose is the Point of It All.
1 Matt Hancocks, 5 Steps CIOs Can Use to Build a Statement of Purpose That Supports a Positive Culture and Drives Business Success, (Gartner 2021)
2 Tracy Brower,PhD, The Power Of Purpose And Why It Matters Now (Forbes, 2021)