There is a lot of hype about “Start with WHY” on social media, after the Ted Talk by Simon Sinek. I am personally having tough time with that.
I strongly feel that innovators and trendsetters really start with WHY NOT in their hearts. It most likely leads to the WHY as a form of expression to engage others.
Solutions come out of “Why not” and they get communicated with “Why” which comes later.
So, I engaged many fellow innovators in a debate of ‘Start with WHY” vs ‘Start with WHY NOT’ and I was quite encouraged to learn that so many of them have been able to solve tough problems by coming up with wacky ideas and asking their team “Why not do …this…?” “Why can’t we try … that …” A good friend felt that these may be two sides of the coin and which one comes first is a toss-up. Is it?
I also found the following quotes, which further substantiated my gut.
You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not? – George Bernard Shaw
The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’ – Jeff Bezos
Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. – Pablo Picasso
Why not invest your assets in the companies you really like? As Mae West said, ‘Too much of a good thing can be wonderful’ – Warren Buffet
Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark? – Steven Spielberg
I remember my dad asking me one time, and it’s something that has always stuck with me: ‘Why not you, Russ?’” You know, why not me? Why not me in the Super Bowl? – Russell Wilson
As a consumer, you go buy the product that gives you the best value, not why the business owner is in business at the first place. You go to a restaurant because of taste and service not because the owner wanted to live in that town. Apple products sell because of the finesse and performance not because of why Steve Jobs was in business. However, I want to argue that when business leaders have a strong why statement, and when they align the employees on that WHY (mission), the resulting products and services are excellent that consumers would flock to, helping business grow.
What do you think?
How often do you use the words ‘Why Not’ to inspire your team or direct them to think differently.
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