It’s way too easy to get focused on the problem at hand and forget the big picture. Everything has a purpose, and if it doesn’t, maybe we shouldn’t be doing it.
A great question to ask at work is, “How does this make the business more successful?” A great follow-up (if it’s true) is, “How can we do more of it?”
“This has to multiply that” is a mindset. We want the things we choose to do to have a multiplier-sized impact. If this subtracts from that, or if this only gets divided by that, or even when the addition is incremental at best, we need to rethink why we’re doing it. We want the multipliers.
That incoming phone call for help? Maybe customer service shouldn’t just be a cost and we can turn it into a realized value multiplier (i.e. Zappos’ call center driving retention and loyalty).
That email answering the same question for the 18th time? Maybe it should be a blog post you can direct people towards, saving time and effectively answering the question.
That presentation for the client? Maybe it can be used to hype the rest of the organization up too. If we share it we might remind everyone of how their work contributes to a greater cause.
If we want impact, we have to look past the one-off. If we want progress, we want to make sure this multiplies that.