2nd Nov 2020
3 Min Read

Purpose – a path through the pandemic

People & Change

In times of crisis, we need to be able to pull together. And nothing unifies us more than a sense of purpose.

As we face into workplace challenges unlike any we’ve known before, it’s crucial that every single colleague understands how they contribute to the bigger picture. But, with our teams more fragmented than ever and fatigue setting in after a long year of lockdown, it’s not an easy task.

  • How can we surface purpose in our organisations?
  • How do we tell the right stories that connect our people to that purpose?
  • How can we harness its power as an intrinsic motivator to get us through the months ahead?

scarlettabbott co-founder and director Rachel Thornton and Gillian McGill, global head of internal comms at Aviva discuss the power of purposeful organisations.

Watch the session back

Looking for a specific question? Here‘s the timestamps


00:00 Introduction – welcome from Rachel and Gillian.

02:49 What’s your favourite definition of ‘purpose’ and how do you articulate it in your organisation?

03:49 Gillian briefly explains the journey Aviva went on to refresh the purpose.

05:50 Rachel discusses how scarlettabbott surfaced their purpose and how this helped during the pandemic.


08:37 What were the business drivers behind surfacing Aviva’s new purpose?

11.09 What process did the team go through to land on the new purpose?

17:44 Did you have to work to get buy-in from execs and how did you do that?

19:25 Did anything surprise you about the process or the people?

21:30 What will you measure to make sure the purpose is still right going forward?

24:55 How did Aviva adapt to stay operational during the pandemic and can you link this to your purpose?

28:55 You’ve welcomed a new leader too. How did that look during such a challenging time?

30:53 How are you linking the purpose to your strategic decisions?

33:00 What tips do you have for generating stories to help bring the purpose story to life?

35:12 We have an existing purpose – how can we re-energise and refocus the team around that?

37:48 Did you have to fight for internal comms to lead on the purpose work?

39:00 What’s next for internal comms at Aviva?

41.40 What advice would you give IC teams about to start their own purpose journey?

Our thanks to Gillian McGill for sharing her insights and experiences.

Are you starting a purpose journey in your organisation?

Make sure you‘re asking the right questions from the start.

Our guide gives you:

  • An understanding of why purpose is an intrinsic motivator
  • Four key considerations for individual purpose
  • The questions to ask to understand purpose in your organisation

Get the guide.

More on this TopIC

The Point.

The latest thinking from the team, direct to your inbox.
We’d love to hear from you

01904 633 399

AWARDS BADGES Agency Business white

The Old Chapel,
27a Main Street,
YO10 4PJ


The Black & White Building,
74 Rivington Street,

© scarlettabbott 2024 Privacy Notice