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“He who has a why can endure any how.” Frederik Nietzsche
In his TEDx talk Simon Sinek expounded on a simple, yet profound theory on why some products, people and organizations fail while others succeed. It has to do with a simple theory based in biology about why we make decisions. We have a primitive brain, or limbic system, the one part of the brain that holds our emotions. Then there is our powerful, thinking brain, the Neocortex, which has language and makes rational decisions based upon facts, data and information. While we may believe we are using our powerful thinking brain to make decisions. we are actually making them based on our emotions, on the “Why. “Most organizations and products focus on the How and What, but miss the Why, the inner emotional part of why we do what we do. How do you explain the success of Harley Davidson? Japanese manufacturers have been making more technically advanced, reliable and less expensive motorcycles for decades. According to our rational brain, Harley Davidson should have gone out of business a long time ago. But Harley Davidson isn’t selling motorcycles, they are selling the experience, freedom, the open road, the lifestyle. They are saying to their customers, if that is the experience you are looking for, come and join us.
Here are 5 compelling reasons that organizations need to figure out their WHY
Grounds them and provides guidance and a beacon for giving direction to everything they do.
Discovering the WHY grounds organizations and gives them a base from which they can make decisions, grow and evolve. People who have no sense of who they are, or what they stand for are rudderless, drifting whichever way the wind blows, falling for anything and everything that appeals to their whimsy at any given time. This also applies to organizations. Without a sense of purpose, a reason for their being they will have nothing to point to when it comes to making decisions that effect their future. The WHY provides moral direction when difficult decisions come up as to where the organization should be going next. Organizations who know their purpose have something that buffers them as it provides a constant in these times of constantly accelerating technological, environment and societal changes.
Attracts loyal employees with the same belief
Organizations that know their purpose, proclaim it and put it out there attract people to their organization who share their beliefs. This has always been true to some degree, but in the past people were more willing to put up with working for organizations whose values conflicted with their own. It was seen as necessary to earn a living, provide for the family. Often employees didn’t see that they had any choice. In today’s workplace this is changing. Millennials are no longer willing to work for just a paycheque but are looking for a reason to work, wanting to contribute to something worthwhile, to make a difference. They actively seek out organization whose purpose matches their own. …read more
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