A few years back, I was a member of a group that was looking to design the managerial roles, management systems and work processes for a new organization. We were being helped by one of the then Big Five consultancy firms. As part of this, the consultants produced a set of draft job descriptions, which included one for the role that I would be filling.
I saw the descriptions as bland, matter-of-fact and limiting.
But, when I argued that I was not excited by them, my comments were dismissed by the in-house sponsor: "Job descriptions are not meant to excite," he insisted, "Provided they set out the main activities of the role and identify what’s in and what’s not, that’s good enough for me." My continued protests fell on deaf ears. Or so I thought.
During a break, the Director chairing the meeting confided that he’d agreed with what I’d said. Of course, he couldn’t say so in the meeting itself - money had been spent on getting the experts’ advice and the ‘defender in chief’ was his right-hand man – but he asked me to send him an outline of my thoughts. And so, the Contribution Statement was born.