Clarity of purpose is not the same as clarity of wording

No-one could argue with purpose, it’s like “family values”, one of those things people auto-nod to. BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME AS CLARITY OF MEANING. Simply saying some words in a sentence that are very clear is not it.
I was in a meeting ages ago where there was talk of ‘managers cannot make sense of numbers”. This was in the context of poor quality comments being given to accompany indicators reported at corporate level. With a hop and a skip we had arrived at them “needing training”, people were allocating tasks and getting busy.
I questioned whether we really had any sense of purpose about this, as it seemed to me we were leaping at our hobby horses and were happy to find an excuse to do so. Someone replied to me with words to the effect of ” no,it is very clear to me, managers cannot understand data, so they need to get skills in XYZ and we can train them.”. These were words clearly and succinctly said outloud, but simply restating what you are doing as why you are doing it is not clarity of pursose, no matter how crisply or succinctly.
Perhaps managers did not need training, perhaps we instead should stop asking for “comments”. This doesn’t require training but thinking.

Where would you find purpose then, if not in grammatically correct phrasing? In the work!. Where customers are. So where would a support service like mine find purpose? I assume from the core services we support.  As a support service we have to either enable a core service to happen, or help core services be delivered better.  Either way, purpose as a support service STILL comes back to the purpose of a core service, whatever that may be. I think this is a good example of outside-in thinking versus inside-out thinking. We needed to think of how we could help them deliver their purpose rather than how they should be trained up to help us deliver ours.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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One Response to Clarity of purpose is not the same as clarity of wording

  1. Pingback: Paper Purpose | thinkpurpose

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