I'm Tom and welcome to my site.

Want to learn how I went from writing nearly nothing to writing thousands of words a month?

($37 value). Read more here.

Enter your email address here for free updates and your free eBook. (Guaranteed 100% privacy.)

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz
E-Book Testimonials

"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

It made me reconsider how I do what I do, so you might give it a look-see, too!" 

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 

"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

Mark Levy, Author of "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content"

“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

Read this free report and you’ll not just love its tone and content, but learn a lot as well.”

Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com

“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 

« Strategic Incubator Interviews Me | Main | Tom's SpeedLink #16 »

What is Our Company’s Purpose? The R-O-I Method 

Have you read Daniel Pink’s new book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us?” If you haven’t picked it up yet, don’t wait too long; this book will forever change how you think about motivating individuals (hint: it’s usually not carrots and sticks).

Pink definitely motivated me to rethink how organizations might use multimedia in ways beyond traditional corporate communication methods. Let’s look at one idea from the book and adapt it for our purposes.

Closing the gap
One of the exercises included at the end of Pink’s book is about closing the gap between perception and reality.

The exercise goes like this:
1. Grab your team or department and give each person a 3 × 5 index card.
2. Have them write down their answer to this question:

“What is our company’s (or organization’s) purpose?”
Now read the answers and see how aligned, or, um, misaligned, your company’s purpose is. Can you start imagining all the various responses you’d hear? Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to see how people perceive your company’s purpose? And then an opportunity to redefine and clearly communicate your organization’s purpose to everyone; internally or externally?

Imagine how powerful this simple exercise would be in audio.
Here’s how you might go about it.

Part One: (R)ecord
1. Grab your MP3 recorder (or even your old-fashioned Dictaphone!).
2. Audio record as many employees as you feel comfortable answering this question.
3. Optional: Transcribe the recording for easier editing and future reference.
4. Optional: Edit the audio. Nothing fancy– no music, no narration. Keep it impressionistic.

Part Two: (O)bserve
Observe the reactions while playing the recording back to (you choose):
• Your team?
• Your department?
• HR?
• Marketing?
• Employee Communications?
• Executive Leaders?
• The CEO?
• Some combination of the above?

Part Three: (I)mplement
After playing the recording, notice who said what. Use this feedback for future planning, goal setting, improving employee or customer engagement, recruiting, orientation, etc. What about collecting all the responses to create an e-Book for team discussions? The list is endless.

Oh. One more thing.

Before you go shrugging this idea off into the void, think about what Pink says in “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”

“This simple inquiry can offer a glimpse into the soul of your enterprise. If people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, how can you expect them to be motivated to do it?”

Something to think about, isn’t it?


P.S. Originally posted on FastCompany.com

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (5)

Hi Tom - sounds like a worthwhile read. When we do "purpose" work with our clients, I'm always wishing for more input from more levels of the organization. Your audio idea is a brilliant way to make that happen efficiently and accurately.

I would also recommend "It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose" by Roy M. Spence Jr. and Haley Rushing. Roy Spence, who runs the agency GSD&M Idea City, gives some great real world examples of organizations thriving on and/or being transformed by a clear understanding of purpose. There are work sheets and exercises after each chapter for those who want to apply the ideas presented.

Thanks for bringing this book (and the audio version) to my attention. It's going on the short list.

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Kaechele
Hi Bruce!

Thanks for your kind words and thank you for sharing your book recommendation; it looks fabulous and it's on my short list, too!

January 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford
Tom, Wonderful post! This should be a mandatory excercise annually with the entire staff. I've been with companies that allowed pseudo anonymous surveys about company culture. But I generally felt like most of the responses were being coaxed by the line of questioning.

Audio amps up the impact...passion and inflection are truly 3-D. Thanks for sharing.
January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Miller
Thanks, Dan- or thank Daniel Pink! :)

I think the idea holds lots of possibilities for any organization, small or big, for-profit or non-profit. Think of it as way to hit the "re-set" button.

January 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford
Love it! Integrating fun, functional media into the entire creative process certainly improves collaboration. I think this method will help your folks be more more bold, creative and connected as you urge them to make more content. Will add it to the list after Linchpin which seems to be a nice dovetail.
February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTalmadge Boyd

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.