January 2020

The Power of Purpose

January - The Power of Purpose

Everything is about purpose. Why do we do the jobs we do? Why do we choose to get involved in leading or supporting ERGs / Networks? Why do we believe that human beings have the capacity to change? Why do we champion the talent of disabled employees and want to build a better working world for colleagues and organisations?

This month we help you to take a look at the power of being clear on your purpose and start the year refreshing your goals.

We offer you five challenges for the month ahead:

  1. Get excited about 2020 by reminding yourself about what makes you tick and the opportunities to drive change - tap into your personal purpose
  2. Reduce your list of ERG / Network priorities to three - stop trying to do everything, and instead, do three things well - ensure your ERG / Network purpose is not overloaded
  3. Refresh your Employee Resource Group / Network Strategy - try writing it onto one page - what we call Strategy-On-A-Page and then publish it internally - tell your colleagues what the purpose is of your ERG / Network
  4. Research modern outcomes that come from organisations that learn directly from their own people - match what you do with your organisation's higher purpose
  5. Build in your mid-year 'purpose boosts' by booking onto one of the PurpleSpace key networking events: stay super-charged as you deliver your purpose

To help you complete the challenges this month, we have lots of sources of inspiration, resources and services to tap into. Log in, before you take a look:

A fabulous and deeply moving account of our human duty to Be A Rainbow in Somebody else's Cloud from the late Maja Angelou. As we all know, the human experience of disability, impairment, ill health can be life-changing. And it is often the small acts of kindness that can make more of a difference than anything else. We could not find a subtitled version of the film, so we have created a transcript which you can find in the Member Zone. And no, we are not saying the workplace inclusion of disabled employees is about kindness - on the contrary. So, remind yourself of Maya's words and ask yourself what they might mean for you in your leadership role.

To reduce your "to do" list to three key priorities, start by reading the PurpleSpace Impact Report kindly sponsored by Barclays Bank. Take a look at the ways ERG's / Networks are focusing in order to drive cultural change. And then, when you have read it send the link to your senior Disability Champion and use it to trigger a discussion about what you would both like to have achieved by year-end. Read too, Making the Future of Work Inclusive of People with Disabilities published by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network in November 2019; hear about how the future of work is still to be shaped, and how we can all influence it. Listen to PurpleSpace CEO Kate Nash's predictions about the key challenges and opportunities for ERGs / Networks in the next few years, filmed when she spoke at the Geneva summit in November 2019.

For advice on how to simplify your strategy, take a look at the PurpleSpace resource template Strategy-On-A-Page which you can in the Member Zone. We see too many ERG / Network Strategies that are unworkable because they are too ambitious according to the people and resources available. This can then become demotivating so give yourself the best new year present by being very clear about what you can and cannot do.

For some inspiration about how other organisations are learning directly from their own disabled people, Research, Research and then Research some of the outcomes when organisations learn directly from their own people - for example, read the Forbes article about Microsoft and as you read the article ask yourself "what are the next big challenges my organisation is facing? And how can the ERG / Network help meet those challenges by learning directly from our own people?"

Book your mid-year 'purpose boosts' by either booking onto one of our face-to-face events in London, or (for virtual multiple members) by letting us deliver your own tailor-made webinar that we can deliver to you free of charge. Maybe put 'Networkology: Part One' in your diary being held on 30th April 2020 and kindly hosted by our members Shell - it's the best way to refresh, learn and connect.

To round the month up, we invite you to drop into the Live Member Chat with Kate Nash OBE, Founder of PurpleSpace on Monday 27th January 2020 between:


  • London (GMT) between 11:00 - 12:00
  • Sydney (AEDT) between 22:00 - 23:00
  • New York (EST) between 06:00 - 07:00

For members in other time-zones, check out http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/ to convert the time for your area.

This is open to any paid-up member from the PurpleSpace community of 600 members. You can use the time to ask any question about running a disabled Employee Resource Group / Network. You don't need to book, just dial in and post or ask your question. To get the dial-in details, email jo@purplespace.org - we have speech to text facility available.

And don't forget, this month we have eight 'Private Coaching' sessions available for members [cost £200 per session. FREE TO MEMBERS on a first-come, first-served basis]. Our two external senior associate consultants Sarah Simcoe and Sally Ward deliver these sessions exclusively for PurpleSpace. Sessions can by booked via jo@purplespace.org


Want to share your experiences by writing a blog?

Why don't you write a blog about your personal purpose in driving cultural change? Contact hello@purplespace.org if you would like to write a blog about this month's theme or one of our future leadership themes.

And finally...

Have a great month. Use it to think about the key purpose of the ERG / Network that you support - and don't feel frightened to simplify what you can do and / or ask for greater resources to deliver well. Everything starts and stops with purpose.

So, get inspired to find the space you need to build disability confidence from the inside out. PurpleSpace.