What is this event designed to accomplish for our institution?
Why is this meeting being called?
What are we attempting to achieve with our Giving Day?
What is the outcome we are seeking with this donor visit?
What message are wanting this edition of our magazine to deliver?
What narrative about our progress do we want this report to convey?
Identifying the fundamental or primary purpose of the work, task, event, activity, initiative, meeting, report, etc., is the first and most important question to ask.
When we have and everyone understands a clear purpose, the planning and the work ahead become more clear. But, when we fail to ask this question of purpose (or allow the purpose to get misunderstood or confused), the planning and the work ahead become abstruse and frustrating.
And, yes, if we analyze our efforts for the question of purpose and realize we have more than 2 specific purposes for any single activity, event, mailing, meeting, message, report, etc., we, almost assuredly, have not defined the purpose clearly enough for ourselves and for others. People will still work hard, but they won’t feel inherently rewarded or effective.
Productive effort follows focused purpose.