Why – How – What
We’ve all seen the Simon Sineck Why – How – What video. Most come away from that with a powerful insight into marketing messaging.
We came away with a second order idea about abstractions and the power of shifting time scales with asking the right questions.
Fundamentally the defining characteristic that separates a Strategy from a Tactic is the time scale. Yet at all scales there’s a name for the activity; there’s always a “What”.
Drawing the Map
A picture is worth a thousand words. Your strategy becomes clear if you can create a meaningful diagram that shows where your are today and where you want to be in the future. A map.
Fortunately we know how to draw this map and show everyone where they contribute to the success of the company.
Know Your Whys
Most teams have a set routine and process that governs their activities. Your first task is to find out if the things they do are aligned with your goals.
For all of their activity ask them Why they do those things. Asking Why expands the scope of something in both impact and time. If a task’s Why doesn’t connect to a Goal then it’s a task that should be dropped.
Know Your Whats
After the Why exercise you end up with a big list of Whats. Each What is in itself a small goal on the path to your future. They all have a loose description of time frames and features you can verify and measure. This is good, but what happens if your list of Whats don’t actually get you to all the way to the Goal?
Know Your Hows
Working backward from the Goal and asking How provides the reverse function. This reduces scope and timelines so that you can enumerate all the Whats on your journey to the Goal.
How does it work?
A strategy building session is among the most satisfying group activities a Leader conducts. Thinking about the future and making a plan to create it offers true agency to your team.
A team that plans together will execute better than a team who is told what to do.
We’ll guide you through the process and coordinate the collection and documentation of the strategy.
A typical engagement follows this form:
1. Vision Quest
Setting the ultimate goal and building the messaging around it falls to the Leader of the organization. We’ll work with you and your founding executives to distill a Goal worthy of a strategy.
2. Department Strategies
Each part of your organization ought to have a compelling reason to exist. That reason is How they contribute to achieving the goal.
We’ll walk your team through the brainstorming exercise that takes enterprise goals down to their department goals and then on down to how each individual can design goals in support of the departmental goals.
3. Managing Tactics
Each member on the team should know how their work supports the vision of the company. Their daily tactics are best captured as a OKRs and made part of their performance plan.
4. Rinse and Repeat
The one constant in this world is change. Your tactics and strategies must adapt over time and the job never stops.
We can help you repeat the cycle as you acheive your goals and begin to set new ones.
But by this time your team already knows how to fly on their own. So, it’s often better for us to bow out and let you lead them on your own.