Posted on 10th March 2022 at 15:27
Sometimes we do certain things without thinking about them, or wondering why we do them. Just that it becomes a habit.
Occasionally, something also goes wrong and that brings the question back into the spotlight.
All too often, habit takes over and the problem that brought the question of “why?” into focus fades away without being resolved. Nothing changes, and it’s only when the same thing happens again, that we say: “Oh yes, I remember that happening before!”
In business, it’s really good practice to know why you do things, because without that single point of clarity, it can be hard to remain focused on what the business does, and how to communicate that to your customers and suppliers.
How many times do you question why something is done, and you get the answer "Because we've always done it that way"?
The question of “Why?” in business terms is also well-associated with Simon Sinek, so I’m in good company!
As volunteers in a national youth group, if asked why we do it, the popular mantra is that “we do it for the kids”. That’s a very noble sentiment, but very simplistic; I was convinced that as human beings, we do things because of some reward – many times these are tangible rewards, such as money, gifts, favours, benefits, usually associated with paid work – but in the voluntary and caring sector, the rewards are more subtle and relate to feelings of satisfaction, gratitude, reduction in guilt.
As an engineer, I reasoned that if I understood why I volunteered in the first place, I could be clear to myself and to others, and in the event of knock-backs and disappointments, could make an unemotional judgement on whether that affected my decision.
So I decided to analyse why I volunteered.