Diversity of Purpose is More Important in Problem-Solving than Senior Leadership

Black Hills Works
Rapid City, SD

The Challenge

Picture this: your organization has a big problem you’re trying to solve, you’ve exhausted options in brainstorm sessions with senior leadership, but the deadline is looming. How can you go about sourcing the solution if the traditional routes have all failed? You have to try something a little different, just like Imperative client Black Hills Works.

Black Hills Works (BHW) is a nonprofit organization in Rapid City, South Dakota that provides quality services and supports to people with disabilities. Their purpose is to create a community where everyone participates to achieve a life of full potential. As a nonprofit organization, BHW works closely with the South Dakota Legislature to create policies and gather funding to support the individuals they serve.

Recently BHW was faced with a challenge: the organization was tasked with developing policies for a behavioral health program to help individuals during a time of crisis.

The Solution

To gather ideas and brainstorm solutions to this challenge, the team at BHW created a committee comprised of employees from different departments and of a variety of seniority levels. This committee meeting was called an “Innovation Garage” and was a way identified to eliminate barriers to fulfillment at Imperative’s inaugural Purpose2030 Summit.

One employee -- we’ll call him Mark -- had recently walked through the results of his Imperative Purpose Profile with a colleague. He wasn’t one of the senior leaders in the room, but knew from this walk through that the “diversity of purpose in the room was more important than having top leaders.”


Mark felt comfortable in this room with his organization’s leadership because he knew that he brought something different to the table than the others - his unique purpose drivers. Because Mark had discussed his purpose drivers, motivators, and sources for fulfillment with a colleague, he had increased understanding of the unique value he brings to a group. He was able to harness this value and deliver a solution in, what might have been to some, a room of intimidating leaders.


BHW was able to work with the Department of Developmental Disabilities in order to gain approval to create a Behavioral Health Program with the implementation of the policy that Mark came up with. BHW is now in the process of hiring staff for this Program.

Learn more about Black Hills Works here.