How to Tackle Fake Purpose in a more Purposeful World #27 #cong22


How can you realise your authentic purpose in a world where malpractice, fake purpose, and purposewash also reside? Discover how to be smarter in being alert to, and spotting Fake Purpose, and how to purposefully respond, using a new free tool co-created by the Dublin Conversations. By understanding the dark side of purpose you can enable your purposefulness to be more robust and resilient to fulfil your potential.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Become mindful of Fake Purpose
  2. Discover how there are different types and levels of Fake Purpose
  3. What to do if you innocently do Fake Purpose
  4. What to do if your stuck in a Fake Purpose place
  5. Discover how Spin, Bad Nudge and Sludge work

About Andy Green

Andy wrote the first book in the world on the subject of ‘Creativity in Public Relations’ and continues to be at the forefront of new thinking and doing as a cofounder of the Dublin Conversations, co-creating bigger thinking for a more purposeful communications industry.

Andy is a working practitioner and academic teaching innovation, communications and public relations at several universities including Boston University. He has written 7 books (translated into 8 languages) on purpose, creativity, social capitals, organisational change. He is co-founder of social enterprise ‘Grow Social Capital’ that is developing new thinking and doing for community activists and how shared social identities can tackle growing social division,

Believing we can all gain inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources, Andy runs creativity classes on the London Tube.

Contacting Andy Green

You can connect with Andy on LinkedIn and Twitter or send him an email

By Andy Green

Authenticity is one of the most powerful assets to realise your purpose.

Yet, as Groucho Marx once observed, “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

How can you be authentic in a world where malpractice, fake purpose, and purposewash also reside?

Fake Purpose is the opposite of being purposeful. It is bad, dishonest, can cause damage and at its worst is despicable, perhaps the worst form of badness. It pollutes what is good.

We live in a world of ever-growing complexity and disruption. Even the most purposeful can innocently or inadvertently stray into doing Fake Purpose. You cannot avoid living or working with others who are less purposeful than you. Each and every one of us, even the most pious, can still unintentionally be guilty of doing Fake Purpose.

Our society faces crisis of growing distrust, division and failing to come together to tackle our existential challenges. If distrust is the default setting, our ability to purposefully co-exist, co-operate or collaborate is under threat.

Government leaders and journalists are seen as the least trusted societal leaders today reports the Edelman Trust barometer 2022, with less than half of respondents trusting either government leaders (42%) and journalists (46%). Concerns over fake news or false information is now at an all-time high of 76%.

Nearly six out of 10 people say their default tendency is to distrust something until they see evidence it is trustworthy. Another 64% feel incapable of having constructive and civil debates with others about issues they disagree on. .(Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 )

There is growing social polarization. In the United States for example, 30 years ago most Americans said they didn’t care whether their child married someone of a different political persuasion to their own. Now, nearly half of Republicans and around a third of Democrats say they would be ‘displeased’ if their child married a member of the opposite party.

To ensure the idea of purpose is resilient, robust and sustainable we need to understand how purpose can be manipulated, exploited for misuse. Responding to Fake Purpose, we need to go beyond ‘You are a wrong, I am right’ dialogues to build relationships that are more open to understanding of each other.

There are degrees of badness. This can be defined by its motivation – was it intentional or not?

By its consistency – is it a one-off or regular occurrence?

And by how it engages with others and encourages them to act in a similar way?

All contributing to an overall competency – the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviours that contribute to individual and organizational performance

The Dublin Conversations has identified four key drivers containing twelve different dimensions to Fake Purpose and purposewash consisting of:

  • Being unprincipled
  • Keeping bad company
  • Doing unethical communications
  • Using ‘Bad Nudge’

For each dimension the Dublin Conversations has identified five levels of competency and created a Canvas, or tool, to help identity Fake Purpose Canvas and purposewash around you.

What do you do when you find yourself inadvertently contributing to Fake Purpose?

How do you respond to situations of serious Fake Purpose where you feel you have limited opportunities to challenge or tackle, feel trapped, unable to say ‘No’ or leave? You may feel you don’t have the confidence, capability or connections to change things. You may feel you have responsibilities to others to not challenge the status quo.

We need to better understand, be better equipped with better maps and tools to operate effectively in a purposeful world that could be hijacked or polluted by Fake Purpose.

Do find out more at our workshop session to inspire greater confidence, self-belief and sagacity to turbocharge your authentic Purpose.

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