Your 5 big questions

The other day, I was having a discussion with some friends about the golden circle. What’s that? It came out of the book Start With Why and it looks like this

The big idea is that most organizations know what they do, fewer know how they do it, only the great ones know why they do it. To communicate this when explaining decisions I use the phrase “The why behind the what.”

We’re not going to talk about why today.

Why is incredibly important, but my guess is that you’re already sold on this idea because you can mentally insert this into situations and see the benefits. today I want to talk about the how. So please, for the sake of us all, find out your why and live by it.

Questions are Important

Once you know your why, there are a lot of ways to do how. How is the tactical work part. I find most people running a team or an organization have 3 – 5 questions that they don’t know the answer to at any given time. Those questions will inform and possibly change the how. Why? (See what I did there?) Because they’re the questions that impact the places we feel stuck in the how zone. Last week I talked about measuring, you can read it here. I didn’t know how to answer my big questions. So we implemented some reporting to answer those questions. Now I’m working on getting my team to live by them (it’s only been a week, internalized change can take time). Here’s a current picture of my report as compared to last week.

Last Week

This Week

Some things are better, some things are worse. I’ve found it’s like a scale. As you work on one side, the other gets worse. My guess is that all of these numbers will be green within the next month.

What happens then?

Once they’re all green, the situation will have changed. I’ll have a different set of questions. So then I’ll change the report to answer those questions. That’s how incremental improvement works.

  1. What are your current big 3 questions?
  2. What are you doing to answer them?
  3. How will you know when the situation has changed?