Context matters. Even the most generic function can be made more valuable by understanding the business context in which it is being performed. Double that (or more) for any project or initiative of significance.
Explaining the business context and value added by the efforts of a team or individual can really help to organize an effort appropriately. It helps with motivation, and makes room for people to step up and take initiative.
Understanding the business context is key for everyone. Knowing how the business operates, what it’s goals are, how it makes money, who it’s suppliers are, who the best customers are and why – all of this helps get work done more effectively.
Knowing the customers is, of course, critical to understanding the business. Who are they, why problems do they have that the business solves for them, why do they choose your business instead of others (or not), what other problems and challenges do they face (what’s their context).
Knowing your function, understanding your project’s goals, and delivering on your specific role – all of this is critical. Putting it in the context of a really detailed understanding of the business, however, is the key to real excellence.
Photo credit: betseywebber