In an activity, the focus is on ‘task’, ‘process’, and sometimes even ‘deliverables’. On the other hand, in contribution, the focus is on meeting the ‘human outcome’ by designing solutions to challenges that come along the way.

Very often you will find that in service-based organizations, people are extremely process-oriented. Take the case of a call center: you call the center for a problem, and they immediately put you through a process and ask you to follow certain steps, without being concerned about what you are really seeking to get done. You might be somebody who is in a hurry, or in trouble and might need an immediate action on their part. But invariably, the service executive ends up focussing on following procedures instead of addressing your human outcome.

A contributor, on the other hand, will say, “I am here to actually help you and make a difference at the level of your outcomes. So, let me try and do whatever is within my power to get the job done.” This is the difference between a process-worker and a contributor.