WHY Do You Do What You Do?

by Tak Hikichi

Southwest Airlines is attempting to recover public relations after messing with the wrong guy this past weekend. Kevin Smith, film director with 1.6 million Twitter followers @ThatKevinSmith at the time of incident was removed from the passenger seat after he had already seated.

“Because It’s Our Policy”

Similar things happen every day although we never hear about it while getting silenced under the name of policy. In fact, many organizations implement policies to make people “go away” (even though they know it doesn’t sound right). The reason we never hear about it is the policy remains unchanged for the most part because good employees don’t question why it exists within an organization.

The lesson learned here is organizations are too busy today looking outwardly about ways to bring customers and forget what’s neglected inside. Instead of looking outwardly and spending millions of dollars investing in new advertising ideas, why not use Southwest Airlinens’ lesson as an opportunity to reevaluate what you can improve internally in your own organization?

WHY Do You Do What You Do?

Most organizations, particularly large ones, have things that don’t make sense even to its employees. When this happens, it disconnects the organizational ethos that bonds the values of employees together. As a result, employees become discouraged to create initiatives that could otherwise produce great ideas. They lose the very WHY of what they do for work and soon only start describing the HOW and the WHAT they do.

Fear Kills Our Creativity

We experience the same stuff while growing up. To be a good employee, we don’t question the system already in place, and we’re supposed to let schools design the way we should behave at work. After learning this way for a while, we become too scared to make mistakes, to appear wrong, and delegate the brave work to the quirky folks who are not afraid to look different than others. This fear kills our creativity, the very thing we use to challenge the status quo and start looking outwardly until our creativity gets completely replaced with spreadsheets and multi-tasking skills.

Does the Policy Meet the Objectives?

If a policy doesn’t make sense to anyone, especially to people who work for your organization, it’s less likely that makes any sense to your customers. Too late, though, if it ends up sabotaging the very thing you worked hard to build. So before this happens, such policy needs to be revisited.

We’re often too busy doing umimporant stuff every day at work (like answering emails) and lose time to do really important work, and these initiatives only take place in an environment where dreaming is encouraged.

What Is Really Important for Your Work and Organization?

That’s the ultimate question you need to answer yourself. What is it that you need to stand for? If you can give one thing to the world better than anyone else you know, what would it be?

Write that down and this will become the manifesto that spreads your idea. And if it speaks to others, and if there are others share the same values as you do, pretty soon you’ll find yourself leading others.

And to do this, you cannot care about what others think of you. Your organization, your community and your family needs you. Share your passion and empower others with possibilities they never knew it was possible to reach.

Previous post:

Next post: