"Why, Why, Why?"
Why this, why that, why then, why now,
Why not, why, why, why, why?
Have you ever noticed the use of 'why' questions is selective? When someone
is trying to make a point they throw up the 'why not?' as if to say "prove
me wrong." When we aren't sure we agree with someone we offer a defensive
"why?" to put them on the spot. Adults often see and utilize 'why'
questions in calculated, manipulative and judgmental ways. Children-at least
preteen aged-use 'why' in an appreciative manner; seeking truth, pattern,
and reason from their observations.
Productive planning needs the why. Whether it's for your organization,
family vacation, or retirement-ask all the 'why' questions possible in the
most genuine truth seeking way possible. Often the 'why' is forgotten. Case
in point: two years ago a county board's highway committee recommended that
the county build a salt storage facility. The rationale: you can get better
pricing on salt if we can get it at our convenience rather than during snow
season. The committee also suggested that they negotiate with surrounding
communities to contribute to the price of the building and get lower salt
prices for themselves. Thus a 15,000 sq. ft. salt shed was built.
About a year ago I ran into the public works director of the largest town in
the county (who opted out of the salt building). I asked him why his
community wasn't a part of the salt storage consortium. He said, "in the
near future liquid chemicals will replace salt. It's available now and some
communities are using it. We're waiting for the cost to come down; we know
there's virtually no storage requirements and it's just as effective as
salt." I said, incredulously, "You mean to tell me they spent a $1 million
dollars for a soon to be obsolete solution?" He grinned and replied, "Well
at least they've got a great facility for storing equipment."
Nobody in the county asked the "why?" The committee came in with the
solution instead of the question and because of that alternatives were never
We have seen fabulous ideas fall flat because no one asked the 'why;' we've
also witnessed incredibly ridiculous ideas come to fruition only to crash
and burn because no one asked 'why.' Remember Clear Coke and Green Ketchup?
And The Award Goes To...
written by: Pam Parr, senior strategist
It's award season in the entertainment industry. Every week there seems to
be a new opportunity for the beautiful people to dress to the nines, hob
knob with one other, and most importantly, gush about how extraordinary each
Wouldn't it be nice if each of our industries had annual rewards? A place
where everyone got a pat on the back, was told how awesome they looked, and
how their performance over the year either brought us to tears or made us
laugh hysterically over our human foibles. Some organizations have this-it's
called the annual holiday party. Alas, it's too small of an arena and most
people don't remember what happened the next day anyway.
What if there were awards for:
- Best dramatic script by an HR department
- Best original script by a management team
- Best comedy series by an executive team
- Best foreign language adaptation by an IT department
- Best animation by a front line staff
- Best song and dance routine by a board of directors
- Best employee in a supporting role
- Best original screen play by a customer
- Best visual effects by a maintenance department
- Best direction...by a director
- Best documentary by a finance department
And the award goes to...