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  • 50,000 foot level queston

    The non profit org that I work provides services to the homeless.

    My actual question is: can a department within an organization have it's own purpose that is different but not separated from the organizations overarching purpose?

    For example, The statement of purpose(modifed) is: the purpose of X is to provide an outreach of love and compassion that responds to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of disadvantaged men, women and children without regard to their race, color, creed or social standing.

    Also, The ministry also has an ongoing goal of providing food, shelter, clothing, and care to people in crisis circumstances. (I think that this is similar to what is referred to in GTD as principles.)

    I've wondered if the clothing department could have it"s own purpose that falls under the umbrella of the organizations purpose?

  • #2
    Originally posted by curtis View Post
    The non profit org that I work provides services to the homeless.

    My actual question is: can a department within an organization have it's own purpose that is different but not separated from the organizations overarching purpose?

    For example, The statement of purpose(modifed) is: the purpose of X is to provide an outreach of love and compassion that responds to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of disadvantaged men, women and children without regard to their race, color, creed or social standing.

    Also, The ministry also has an ongoing goal of providing food, shelter, clothing, and care to people in crisis circumstances. (I think that this is similar to what is referred to in GTD as principles.)

    I've wondered if the clothing department could have it"s own purpose that falls under the umbrella of the organizations purpose?
    Absolutely Curtis. It's a great question.

    For example, our company purpose at the David Allen Company is:
    Equipping individuals and organizations with the best practices of stress-free productivity

    And one of our departments within the company (Individual Productivity, where GTD Connect lives) supports that company purpose, but also has this specific purpose:
    Stress-free productivity products and services for individual clients


    Sounds like wonderful work you are doing!

    Kelly

    Comment


    • #3
      Consultant's Viewpoint

      I'm a Consultant and sometimes I help companies develop Mission, Vision and Values Statements. I'm going to go one step further than Kelly...I think each department SHOULD have its own "purpose" statement. It helps individuals within that department really connect their own work to that of the department and, ultimately, to the organization as a whole.

      It's even a great exercise to have each individual within the department write a statement answering this question: Why does my job exist? It can be more difficult than it appears to answer that, but do so gets to the root of what each individual person brings in the way of "products and services" (talents and deliverables) to the table. After all, each of us is a mini-corporation (organization) in our own right and our customers, either internal or external, pay us for some outcome....not just for showing up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Consultant's Viewpoint

        Great response Barb. I had never thought about the mini organization in each of us. Do you have more of these thoughts posted online?

        Comment


        • #5
          On this topic?

          Originally posted by curtis View Post
          Great response Barb. I had never thought about the mini organization in each of us. Do you have more of these thoughts posted online?
          Not on this topic, no. It's part of what I do for a living...wouldn't be too smart to give it away for free. But thank you for the compliment. I have blathered on about just about everything else--probably mostly on the Connect Forums. I've been "hanging out" there for years, keeping my GTD practice sharp.

          Comment


          • #6
            On this topic?

            Since I work in a non profit and not familiar with a business model , could you "blather" about the difference betwee an internal vs external customer? That's it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sure!

              Originally posted by curtis View Post
              Since I work in a non profit and not familiar with a business model , could you "blather" about the difference betwee an internal vs external customer? That's it.

              Glad to help with that one. The concept of internal and external customers applies to any organization, including non-profits. Internal customers would be those within the organization that you serve. For instance, someone working within the accounting department may never touch anyone outside of the organization, but internal customers rely on them to handle budgeting, expense reports, payroll, accounts payable, etc. Without these people, those who serve external customers wouldn't be able to fully do their jobs.

              An external customer is anyone outside of the organization that relies on an individual or department for services/goods. Let's say your non-profit serves meals to the homeless. Then your customers would be homeless people.

              Does that make sense?

              Comment


              • #8
                Sure!

                Yes it makes sense.

                To summarize it with new clarity from your explanations, it appears then that a connection exists between the 50,000 and the 30,000 (areas of focus). In an organization example, the areas of focus such as a job description is WHAT a person does according to job description (x the number of personnel/volunteers in that specific dept) and the PURPOSE/PRINCIPLES = WHY they do it and why the department and the organization do it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes..and MORE

                  Originally posted by curtis View Post
                  Yes it makes sense.

                  To summarize it with new clarity from your explanations, it appears then that a connection exists between the 50,000 and the 30,000 (areas of focus). In an organization example, the areas of focus such as a job description is WHAT a person does according to job description (x the number of personnel/volunteers in that specific dept) and the PURPOSE/PRINCIPLES = WHY they do it and why the department and the organization do it.
                  You've got it. And the more you can connect each individual job description to the customers they serve (internal and external) and, therefore, to the overall mission of the organization, the easier it is for people to see how important their work really is. That's not always easy otherwise if they are in a support role, such as accounting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good question. Yes now that you think about it, its possible. Many organizations do that, especially for profit!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes..and MORE

                      Originally posted by Barb View Post
                      You've got it. And the more you can connect each individual job description to the customers they serve (internal and external) and, therefore, to the overall mission of the organization, the easier it is for people to see how important their work really is. That's not always easy otherwise if they are in a support role, such as accounting.
                      Connecting is a challenge because individuals, I think, focus primarily on contexts and next actions unless there's a problem and then focus shifts to the various levels.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        well..

                        Originally posted by curtis View Post
                        Connecting is a challenge because individuals, I think, focus primarily on contexts and next actions unless there's a problem and then focus shifts to the various levels.
                        If everyone in your department or organization is a (relatively new) GTD-er, then you may have a point. But that's not usually the case. In my work, I have redesigned the traditional job description as well and add metrics which the individual employee has helped develop. The job descriptions are more results-based, rather than just broad areas of focus. So everything works as a system. And feedback is very important too..internally and externally. I'm a big believer that you almost can't over communicate when it comes to WHY you do what you do.

                        But just having everyone shift their focus to a more customer-centric model (internal and external) is quite a shift and can make a big difference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          well.

                          [QUOTE=Barb;109191]If everyone in your department or organization is a (relatively new) GTD-er, then you may have a point.
                          Yep. We've had 2 webinars for our operations team during the past year with mixed responses.

                          Re those results based job descriptions, I will do some researching. Thanks much!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by curtis View Post
                            Re those results based job descriptions, I will do some researching.
                            We attended a Ranch Management mini course last year that talked about this point. And here is a recent blog post on how to implement that in a ranching business. I'm adapting it for my own worker needs.

                            http://blog.ranchmanagement.com/2013...m_medium=email
                            Last edited by Oogiem; 08-17-2013, 06:41 PM. Reason: spelling errors, sheep happens

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ranch management mini course

                              Thanks Oogiem .

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