The Difference Between Fulfilling and Initiating

Some agencies use the term fulfillment to describe the process of delivering some aspects of a service. Companies tend to use the term execution or implementation instead. The word evokes the process of stuffing envelopes, or operations like selecting items off a pallet and putting them in the box ready to ship.

    There's a beautiful, more generic meaning to the word — the state of completion, or realization. As in a dream. Fulfilling therefore is more broadly the act of completing — rather than simply handling and executing customer orders, as packing, shipping, or processing checks.

    Initiating means to cause or facilitate the beginning of something. It can also mean to introduce something, or someone to a new situation or reality. For example, think of initiation rites, or being instructed in a new field.

    Every job is a combination of both — fulfillment of existing and/or new insights, projects, programs, products or services, and initiation of ideas, activities, initiatives, and so on. The very definition of a job is a form of fulfillment request, and the candidate selection determines the percentage of initiation and fulfillment in the role.

    Wisdom and experience may impact the quality of both, rather than just skew in the direction of one or the other. Whether we fulfill or initiate we still need a combination of critical thinking, tested action, and creativity in interpreting evidence to communicate value.

    Often, the very act of fulfilling a dream or a promise creates the premise for the initiation of a productive week, good relationship, or brilliant year.


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