• Phil Roos

Finding Purpose and Reconnection – and a New Kind of Company

I spent years running a successful innovation and growth strategy consulting firm. The work was interesting, I loved my colleagues and clients, and I got to visit parts of the world I never would have otherwise. But, despite all the activity and interaction, I ultimately felt disconnected. Our client work was largely national or global in scope, but had little to do with my local community. I had deep concern for the health of our planet and its people, but I had little time to do much to provide support or solutions. And, I struggled to find real meaning in my work. In fact, I struggled to find my own sense of purpose.

After selling and ultimately leaving the firm, I dedicated myself to reestablishing this connection – with my community and with the world around me. I jumped into various causes: conservation and climate action, personal health and wellness, economic revitalization of my beloved Michigan and the Great Lakes region, and helping entrepreneurs and those working on good causes to realize their dreams. Through this effort, I found renewed purpose – and I rediscovered myself.

The decision to start Great Lakes GrowthWorks happened very organically. The right people and opportunities appeared in just the right moment. It was the first time in my life that I truly followed my heart, without a detailed business plan or well-articulated “metrics.” Those would come in time. What was important, instead, was a set of core values and purpose, and a clear commitment to no longer compartmentalize work from the world around it.

At Great Lakes GrowthWorks, we have a simple mission: to inspire future growth. We help our clients innovate, grow, and realize their full potential and purpose by enabling them to connect with and better understand the world around them. We use the most cutting-edge tools of the innovation and business growth “trade,” but we infuse them with purpose – and the impact is bigger.

The world itself is undergoing transformational change, and successful companies and organizations can no longer prosper in isolation from those changes. I believe that to fulfill an organization’s role and potential within this changing world means embracing and understanding key dynamics that are driving this transformation:

  1. The arrival of “higher purpose” as table stakes for a successful enterprise. It is no longer enough to just sell good products or services. Customer, employee, shareholder, and community support emanate from creating an organization that stands for something bigger.

  2. The marriage of “global” and “local” in all that is good. Local inspiration matched with global scale and impact is a recipe for opportunity and positive change.

  3. The central role the environment, health, and wellness play in everyday life and in our future. Businesses cannot prosper nor sustain themselves without a respect for and integration of the basic needs of our planet and its inhabitants.

  4. The role of technology in driving accelerated opportunity and human evolution, literally rewiring our brains and the way we think and interact with one another, while also enabling rapid change.

  5. The emergence of a new breed of humans (aka consumers or customers), with different mindsets, values, and consciousness, influenced by the other dynamics.

In this blog, I will do my best to bring to life each of these key dynamics, and talk about the impact they are having and will have on our lives. I’ll aim to tackle about one topic a month, but I may diverge when the spirit moves me. Most of all, I’ll try to share my own sense of purpose and that of the firm. And, if I’m lucky, this space might play a small part in helping to inspire your own – and your organization’s – future growth.

Thanks for joining me on this journey!