a different starting point...
The stakes are high when we promise big change and significantly improved results. Beyond hard results and reputations—people's long-term pride, confidence and commitment are also at stake. Second chances are incredibly difficult to orchestrate.
Asking why, who and how before deciding what to do, easily doubles personal effectiveness—pulling people towards a bigger and better future. This multiplier effect grows exponentially when exercised across teams, organisations, schools, communities—wherever people learn and work together.
Asking people to answer these 4 big questions in everything they do, builds capability and delivers breakthrough results—today and well into the future.
asking why–who–how before deciding what to do
Change efforts typically begin with what questions—
what do we need to do?
what do we want to do?
what can we do?
what should we do?
Answering what questions drives action—and activity is positive. Unfortunately, several messy problems can arise with this approach. People are busy—but they are moving in different directions, resources are diverted into endless initiatives that have questionable benefits, and early momentum washes away as old habits resurface.
Consider this common what approach—we decide to give people new tools (investment capital, budgets, plans, communications, financial incentives, analytics, reports, training, procedures, equipment, software, and, and, and)—and we believe when people use these new tools, they will deliver improved results.
what typically happens is we get busy rolling-out (pushing) a long list of initiatives and monitoring how well they are being implemented. And then, for many reasons, they don't quite deliver the improvements we promised. This is because people commit to implement an initiative, rather than delivering improved results— focused on, 'doing what I am told'. Equally important, we never asked them what support they need to deliver improved results.
4 big questions
Successful change begins with why questions—
and the best why answers inspire bold action.
When our why answers are highly-focused and adopt inspiring, easy-to-understand language—people instinctively know what they can do to help, how to
get started, and how to continuously fine-tune their approach as everyday challenges arise.
inviting people into a bigger and better future builds momentum and sustains change over the long-term.
Inviting the right people means we need to ask who questions—who needs to do something differently to deliver the results we want? And... who are the key influencers that will help others support the change?
Inviting people to help shape how the new direction
will unfold builds alignment and commitment.
How might a why–who–how approach help your organisation improve? What would it take to try it?