In a financial services organisation I came across a new team which was being organised as a ‘one-stop-shop’ – their purpose was to handle whatever came in from customers.

Somebody from central human resources was there to write the new job descriptions. I suggested they should simply say “We handle everything that comes in”.

It would have reinforced their purpose.

It would have orientated the team (and their manager) to what mattered – type and frequency of demand, what can be dealt with (as a one-stop-shop) and what needed to change to improve performance (knowledge/skill within the team, the work of other departments causing demand and so on).

It would have created a dynamic, changing, learning environment.

The lady from human resources couldn’t see it that way. Her job was to write job descriptions.