THE BIG COMPANY Big companies take decades to build.
Times change but many big companies don't usually like to change much with times. Some reasons for this can be due to scale, some due to arrogance, and some to having simply lost their way. But no matter how big a company grows, asking "Why?" is still vital for continued success.
Very many people in our part of the world today, whether of small literacy or abundant literacy, now must touch a Microsoft application. We touch Microsoft by desk top computer, laptop computer or by our mobile phone. For this ubiquitous Microsoft, the answer to their "Why?" in the 1980s and 1990s as an example, was clear and understood down to every employee: "To put a computer running Microsoft software on every desk and in every home."
But a maniacal fixation on process - once a strength - can turn a cancer. Big companies get confused. When they start getting bigger, they want to replicate the process of their initial success. Many of them think or behave like, well, somehow there is some magic in the process of how that success was created, so they start to institutionalize process across the company. And before very long people get confused that the process is the content. They just forget about the content. Yet, all products, services and businesses must change over time. Change is an important and necessary part of most successful companies.
THE SMALL COMPANY At the polar opposite position from big companies may sit startups, nearly everyone of which begins with an ambitious expression of "Why?" Good startups are motivated from birth by "Why?"
Why this? Why should it be like this?
That "Why?" is traditionally quite simple: because the founders of startups or small companies do want something very clear for themselves. If that something isn't easy to answer the question, then you probably won't have a good startup or company. For example, if a founder's answer to "Why?" is "to get rich" they are most probably in the wrong job, because wealth is almost always a byproduct of good work, not its objective.
Great leaders inspire their companies by asking "Why?"
Asking "Why?" goes a long way.
Reference THE DECLINE AND FALL OF IBM by Robert Clingely
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tomassociates