Upstream – Downstream: Sense of Purpose

When I was handling a team few years ago and now after I became a trainer, I always insisted people to understand the upstream and the downstream of their process/work. They should understand what happens before their work and what happens to the work after their piece is done. Gaining this knowledge helps them in many ways:
1.He sees the big picture.
2.He understands where and what impact his contribution brings to the work and to the organization both positively and negatively. Just imagine the difference he brings to his work, if he understands the impact of missing one zero in a data entry work. May be he is entering salary in a tool/application. That individual will be credited with Rs.5000 instead or Rs.50000/- just because of missing one zero while entering the data. Will he understand the value of his contribution? Will this understanding bring a difference on how he looks at this work.
3.He knows why he does what he does, adds meaning to his job. When he understands his contribution to the entire process, in turn to the organization, he realizes his own importance to the team and to the organization. He also realizes that he is bigger than his job even if it is going to be just a data entry job.
4.He realizes that he is not working in silo. He understands that he is part of a bigger team ie., the upstream process team and the downstream process team. He understands the importance of cooperating with both the teams and not just his team.
5.He becomes a self motivated person and little inspiration is sufficient to make him the best.
I suggest as a team member, understand the upstream and the downstream of your process/work. I suggest to the managers, do provide the entire picture of the process instead of just training the team member on that piece of work your subordinate is supposed to do. When you help your team member see the big picture, the sense of purpose inspires the person to be the best and do the best.

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