Monday, June 18, 2012

The Power of Why

In many organizations, those that ask "Why?" are seen as "negative" or "not aligned". 

They become the squeaky wheels who seem to always derail meetings. (on a side note, most meetings stink and should be derailed-that's for another day)

"Why?" is one of the most powerful things that can come out of our mouths.  It is the basis for scientific thought.  Unless you don't want to apply any science to your business, I'm confused about the disdain for this question.

I find it humorous when those in charge try to apply the chain of command as a reason for not allowing "why" to exist.  Is your business a matter of life and death?  If not, then there is always room for questioning previous decision--especially if its in the service of growing the business or improving the story about the company.

"Why?" gets us to the heart of the matter.  It uncovers the true reason for a process.  It doesn't assume anything, just asks for more clarification.   It does, however, demand an answer.

Maybe those who seem annoyed by the question, either don't know (which may show vulnerability), don't like the loss of control, or are disappointed that they've been towing the line without asking "why?" themselves.

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