Monday, August 3, 2009

The Important 2%

Recently I learned that chimpanzees and humans share the majority of their DNA. 98% of our genetic material is the same, what sets us apart is just two-percent. However, this two percent different is what allows humans to more effectively communicate, to form relational groups, and to do all those other things that chimpanzees are unable to achieve. It's a small difference in our make-up but a significant one.*

In life, there are a lot of things that are small but significant. One chromosomal deficiency can cause a lifetime of challenge. One point uptick in a person's IQ can certify them as a genius. A single digit change on a lottery ticket can be the cause of an expected windfall. If we think about it, its the small differences that really determine who we are. In business terms we call this a company's positioning. It's what sets them apart in the mind of their customers, as opposed to the thousand of competitors that they can choose from. Small but significant differences is what enables Proctor & Gamble to have more detergent brands than a conglomerate should rightly be able to manage. It's a slight change in formula that makes the laundry go from the "whitest whites" to the "line dry freshness." To the producers, it may be a minute adjustment. To the brand loyalists that buy it, it makes all the difference.

In a way, this illustration is demonstrative of this blog's purpose. For a long time, I've written about two different areas of my life. In publishing terms, my topics would have been classified under "Business" and "Christian Living." Both of these topics are important to me; both contribute to the person I am. What I've recently realized is that its their overlap, that small but significant areas in which the two merge, that is my sweet spot. I can't stop writing about business; it is after all, how I make my living. However, it would be equally impossible for me to stop writing about my Christian walk; it makes life worth living. They are two divergent topics and while the overlap may be small, may be just two-percent, it is, I believe significant.

So the purpose of this post is to prepare you for what's to come. In a lot of ways, I've kept these two topics separate...and where it makes sense, I'll probably continue to do so. However, for those who read me regularly, be prepared for a merging of the two. I will write more about organizational life, including the means and methods for effective communication, because like it or not, it's the arena in which most of us spend the majority of our days. Also, because its in this context that I can add the most value, that I can contribute in unique and significant ways. However, the end-game has, and will continue to be for me, the "better things" that lie ahead. I can not write about the here and now and forsake the then and there. It's an unconventional merging, but one that I'm hopeful will be of value. If not, I'm sure that there will be lessons in the failing as well.

2%....It doesn't seem like much. To the God who made the chimpanzee and the human being though, He knew it was enough to radically separate us. Maybe it will also be enough to dramatically change our life at work, as well as how we work at living a life that pleases Him.

*I've been reliably informed that the science behind this discovery is questionable and that perhaps only portions of the DNA code were compared to arrive at this figure. Since the post stands apart from this fact, I'm not going to get into an exact deduction. Suffice it to say - God's creation is marvelous whether the similarity is 2% or 60%,

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Blogger Brad and Cheri said...

I believe that you will do an excellent job merging the two areas because you are a merge yourself of so many parts that benefit from the others. That is what makes humans so interesting and exasperating. And you are right - God's creation is marvelous!!!!

August 4, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

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Better Things Ahead: The Important 2%

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The Important 2%