Why We Do What We Do – Discovering Your Company’s WHY
Recap of the previous blog
In my previous blog, I wrote about how our values were inculcated amongst all our staff. There is no silver bullet in this process. It’s all about repetition, patience, and rewarding staff for upholding the values. The benefit of having everyone intimately understand our values and actively embodying them in day-to-day operations cannot be understated. It creates a differentiator to your competition.
Why We Do What We Do
One thing I learned from MBA studies and reading a lot of management books is that there is a difference between “what we do” and “why we do it”.
Understanding your WHY is critical for all staff to understand. By doing this, you will find that staff are united in a common purpose.
Are You Building Your Cathedral?
Let me tell you a quick story;
A man was walking down the road in 11th century England. There were thousands of people on the side of the road making what looked like bricks. He said to one man;
“What are you doing?” The man replied; “I’m making bricks from straw and mud”
A bit further down the road he asked another man doing the same job; “What are you doing?”
The second man said; “I’m building a Cathedral!”
The first man knew WHAT he was doing, the second man knew WHY he was doing it.
Which man do you think produced the best bricks?
So at EDIStech, we had to discover ‘What our Cathedral was’ or ‘what is our WHY!’
The way I did this was as follows;
I asked the team the question;
“What do we do?”
I thought this was going to be a quick process. But even the team discussing; ‘What We DO’ had some debate as we defined this into one sentence.
However, once we had a definitive sentence describing what we did, I then went through 5 iterations of “Why is that Important?”
After working through 5 iterations, we finally discovered our WHY. We put this WHY into two succinct sentences that everyone in the team can now quote and understand. Doing this exercise was critically important as it created a lazer beam focus for our staff on what EDIStech is trying to achieve (Building our Cathedral) This I believe has assisted in lifting our professionalism and our reputation with our clients.
I then included a discussion around ‘Our Why’ in our weekly staff meetings.
In my next blog, I will discuss Positioning Statements and why that is important.