What’s the purpose of a football team, or any other team in a team sport?
Did you immediately think, “to win the game” or “to beat the opposition”?
OK, here’s another question…What’s the objective for the team?
Did you repeat the same answers?
Very often, we find there is a confusion between what managers consider to be their purpose and their objectives. The purpose is the reason why the business exists, why the team actually does what it does. The objective is what it needs to do to achieve its goals.
The purpose of a football team would be to provide entertainment and pride for their supporters to relish. Their objective would be to score more goals in a game than the opposition.
So what would you consider to be the purpose of your team?
Different managers have come up with ideas like “To create a culture of excellence”, “To serve the customer with pride”, “To become the best team in the company.”
This differs quite a bit from the team’s objectives. The objectives are what it should be doing to achieve its purpose. So, ideas would include “To make a return on investment of x%”, “To sell x widgets in y months”, “To produce z amount of equipment in time for the sales team to do their job”.
What would you consider your team’s main objective?
Have a chat with your team members. See if they know what the team’s purpose is. See if they can determine the difference between purpose and objective. And help them to identify their role within that purpose and what they can do to achieve the objectives. Don’t let them be confused between the two.
Head of Training
(Image by Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.