Why before What

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” 
-Franklin D. Roosevelt 

I’ve been talking with my daughter about a charity that she wants to start. She’ll be calling it boxes of hope, which is essentially boxes full of items that would benefit children in need. Toys, treats, and books. She is 11 years old and I was a bit surprised and delighted by her ambition. You know I am a proud father, like everyone. She has asked me for help about how to get an organization started and for some lessons learned.  
 
So, I said to her “you have to start with the why, before you worry about the what”. I explained to her that the first act of our company before we had a name and a clear business plan, was to write down our company values. It was important to me to define what the values of the company would be as a basis for why we existed rather than the other way around. As a reminder the company values are; 
 
•    If you care about your employees and you care about your clients, 
       you’ll have a company worth caring about  
 
•    We hire for character before we hire for capability  
 
•    We believe in the market place of ideas  
 
•    We hire interesting people who are interested in change  
 
•    We look for Smart and Happy people  
 
They are the guideposts, the ambition of the company. The decision to focus Tahzoo on customer experience management and subsequently to recognize that we could make millions of people a little happier every day was the natural evolution of the business.  
 
Start with the “why before you worry about the what”, applies to much more than the formation of a company or a charity. Think about the work you do for our clients … ask yourself why, why are we doing this work? We have a bunch of new projects kicking off. Has each team sat down and come to a conclusion about the why for each project? I am quite certain that project plans, schedules and resourcing are all in full swing, but those are the what or the how we are going to accomplish something, not the why.  
 
Take some time as a team and discuss the why … write it down and make sure that everyone on your team understands the why. It is the NorthStar for all of our client engagements.  
 
 
Let’s go be great! 
 
Brad