Not all TED Talks are breathtaking or inspirational. But, like anything you come across, if you stay open, bigger messages and thoughts may arise. This happened to me listening to a TED Talk given by a female chaplain, Debra Jarvis in 2014. I really got to thinking about a crossover statement she made about the role of the chaplain. Suffice it to say that I am not at all religious and this post is not about religion. However, Jarvis’ talk is full of good sense about life, delivered with humor and due pathos, and made me think about branding and leadership in a different way. I’ll publish a second inspired post on leadership next. I reviewed the talk, certainly with a careful eye on the #ParisAttacks. Especially for those who have experienced trauma, there is a risk to let the trauma define who you are. Jarvis had two particularly powerful lines:
Meaning is dynamic.
Claim your experience.”
Meaning is dynamic
What place does meaning have in business? At its core, it’s about finding connection. For companies and brand managers interested in meaningfulness, there is a sense that meaning and purpose is organic. If a brand’s principles and values should be immutable, bedrocks that underscore the organization’s actions and behaviors, purpose (and meaning) resides on a higher plane. I think of purpose as a North setting on a compass, that helps craft the brand’s direction — and drives decision-making — according to new developments. And, indeed, as Jarvis says, meaning does shift as the context changes. (more…)