Purposeful Collectivism – Unleash your Social Networks for Progression!


On a road trip to Canberra last year with my wonderful colleague John Raymond (JRay-pictured with me above), we coached each other searching for our ‘why’. For John it became clear it was around people ‘loving their working’ and I am delighted to share he has now set up his blog: loveyourworking.com

I would highly recommend following this, this man’s insights are some of the best I’ve ever heard! John will be sharing practical tips on easy ways to get more enjoyment from the job you’ve got. He just posted an entry on surviving your work offsite after we had a fantastic IECL offsite yesterday.

For me I discovered through John’s great questions that I love connecting people, not for the sake of it but for relevancy and progression. I love the feeling when I connect people and something amazing emerges. I’ve termed this ‘Purposeful Collectivism’ and here’s my first attempt of defining it and exploring its meaning.

Purposeful Collectivism

Key Principles:

  • Group goals over individual goals – power of the collective
  • Social versus human capital – social networks have value
  • Interdependence, reverse of individualism
  • Fosters collaboration over consumption
  • Focused on a higher purpose for the good of a community, society, nation or country
  • Access over control
  • Cohesion vs disintegration
  • Commitment to the betweeness
  • Evokes the emergence of insight
  • Ripples uncertain progression

My proudest example of Purposeful Collectivism to date is founding IECL NEXGEN, a network for young professionals across multiple industry sectors who take action to progress 21st century leadership in Australia. This is now being taken to new levels through my colleague Chloe Lees which makes me very proud. Other examples have included creating forums for people to discuss adaptive leadership, disruptive ideas, conscious business and the power of quiet.


I challenge how you can be part of the Purposeful Collectivism movement. I’d love to create and start a forum to share ideas and generate actions to make a difference in your local community, organisation or even nation.

Below are some tips to help begin your journey!

  • Visualise your social networks.
    Unfortunately one of my favourite ways to do this, LinkedIn Inmaps is no longer available but there are other ways including NodeXL. For those who are not technically gifted you can also map your network on paper, go old school!
  • Think of an area of passion and then think who can I connect that share this?
    Host an initial discussion in a office room or local cafe.
  • Search hashtags on social media.
    Search a hashtag on a subject you’re passionate about and try getting key influencers on that subject together in a virtual conversation.

Stuck on finding your purpose? Try reflecting on these questions, then share the answers with someone in your network and ask them the same:

  1. Why do you get up in the morning? Try listing three things
  2. When you have these things in your life, what is the result for you and others?
  3. What does that mean for you?
  4. How important is that to you?

My next idea as I prepare for my first baby next year is around setting up an online group for current mums and new mums. This would focus on sharing experiences and providing mentoring support in a strengths based way. No competing over whose baby walks first!

Would love to hear how you go on your journey and any examples of Purposeful Collectivism that you’d be happy to share.




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