“It’s the little things that you do that matter.“
“It’s who you are when no one is looking.“
We hear these phrases throughout our lives. Often they are related to discussions about integrity and values. Sometimes they are related to sales and how we treat our clients or customers.
Bernadette writes in her email today (emphasis mine):
I don’t need to tell you that getting more eyeballs on your work won’t get any easier. Every day new businesses are launched and more videos, podcasts, articles and books are published. There will never be less competition for people’s attention than there is today…Our goal must always be to do what it takes, not just to be seen—but to matter. We don’t have to manufacture a message to get more attention, we have to create more affinity by getting better at saying what’s true.
In our work, there is a constant desire for more attention, bigger audiences, more revenue, and so on. This is often true whether you work for a for-profit company, a charity, civil society, a humanitarian organisation, or the government. More equals better. This is our accepted definition of better. Quantity seems to always win out over quality.
There is always the delicate balance between where to invest the resources we have. It doesn’t matter what work you do. Do we invest in a better product or service or in broadening our market reach? The challenge for charities and NGOs is that one of our ‘markets’ generates revenue (donors) while the other does not (beneficiaries). So it’s a four way see-saw, not a two way one.
Focusing on what matters is crucial, but we often don’t agree on what does. And for charities and NGOs, we need to choose what voice and perspective we will listen to.