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The power of Intent in unlocking high performance

Source | | Gareth Jones

Since publishing our experience as a “fully flexible” business (or as is more topically known, “Remote” or  “Distributed”) I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people wanting to know more about what goes on under the hood, culturally and operationally, at Headstart. So I’m sharing a few of the things I have learnt over the years which I think are essential to creating an environment of success.

There are many places I could consider to start but ultimately it all comes back to Intent, both business and personal. Why do you exist as a business? What problem are you trying to solve? Why do you ‘care’ about it as a business and individual?
I never considered the importance of intent nor its impact until later in my working life. In my early career I was totally engaged in my work, but there was no clear intent in any of it. I had a thirst for knowledge and experience and I enjoyed the field I was in – HR. I enjoyed being in a business in general. I left the profession after 10 years to search for something ‘more’, and the rest is history.

But it wasn’t until I joined The Chemistry Group that I experienced a company with a clear intent and saw how strong a force it could be.

Chemistry’s intent was simple – To give everybody the opportunity to be brilliant at work. So simple yet so powerful. And so on the money. No sycophantic marketing statements about products or clients here. The focus is purely on the individual; Optimise the individual and get them firing on all cylinders and everything else follows, with huge benefits for the business too.

The inertia of course, came from the top, from the founder Roger Philby, one of the best story tellers I’ll ever meet I’m sure, and one of the few believers in how powerful a great culture can be. Everything revolved around our intent, and we invested heavily in it. It was a shared common purpose and passion. And it drove everything else. Supercharged it in fact.

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