why-big-word

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“Understanding why was more interesting than understanding who.

 

The story of why things are the way they are is heartbreakingly beautiful.”

 

———

Keegan Allen

 

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I admit.

 

why-why-what-exclaimI am one of those wacky business people who will listen for hours to stories about why things are the way they are. Even wackier? I am not one of those business people who act surprised when I hear all the “why it is what it is” stories.

 

Many people want to hear about the people.

 

Many people want to hear about the ideas … or even what someone thinks or what they want.

 

Many people want to let others talk about whatever they want to talk about.

 

All of that is well and good.

 

But me? Give me the story of “why.”

I am actually surprised more businesses don’t ask that question or are as curious about it. I am surprised because if you know the ‘why’ you at least have a fighting chance of offering something doable.

In fact. While many business people shake their heads over all the crazy “why shit happens” stories the truth is … well … they actually offer the truth. The ‘why’ gives us reality. Bad reality sometimes? Sure. But reality nonetheless.

 

Far too often we offer business folk offer solutions, and many times really good solutions, which are simply non practical for the business and people we are offering it to.

Crazy as it sounds … not every business can implement a good idea. In fact … fear-light-off-dark-scaretrying to implement a good idea in a business whose “why it is” doesn’t align more often creates a nightmare idea.

 

A business is a business. It comes with all the warts and positives gained throughout the years.

I like to hear the objective.

I absolutely love to hear the vision <assuming someone actually has one>.

But when push comes to shove while all that stuff is fine and dandy … but if you don’t know why things are the way they are or why that objective hasn’t been attained yet or why that vision has been sitting on some shelf collecting dust for several years … you are screwed.

You are screwed because “why things are the way they are”, 99% of the time, have a reason. You may not like the reason, or reasons, but it is a reflection of reality.

It doesn’t mean you cannot change some of the whys.

It doesn’t mean you can’t jump, side step or tunnel under some of the whys.

But why shit is the way it is reflects the realities of that particular business. And you either have to face that fact or ignore at your own peril. Ignoring it most likely means whatever great idea you are offering that business is doomed.

 

I cannot tell you how many really good ideas I have seen die because they just

Sad place.

didn’t take into account the ‘why things are the way they are’ in that business. It is the amateur business consultant who suggests that ‘with the proper internal alignment initiative we can get this idea up & running to the benefit of the business’ … for any and all businesses assuming you ca reshape all the “why it is” to make it fit the idea.

 

I don’t think I am that smart but suffice it to say I am fairly sure most experienced business people can see good solutions for any business fairly quickly once they get up to speed on that business and its situation.

Most people can do that.

But solutions are not all round pegs and businesses are not all round holes. I cannot tell you how many really good solutions I have tossed in the trash simply because they would never be implemented by the business it would have been really good for. Suffice it to say … a lot.

 

I would note that the opening quote resonated with me mostly because of the last thing I just wrote.

 

It is heartbreaking to sit in some business meeting and you have the great solution right there at your fingertips and you know after listening to the ‘why things are the way they are’ stories you have to leave it right there on the table and shove it somewhere into some unlabeled folder.

That doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something else that helps.

 

But, oh, it is heartbreaking when the best solution is just not doable.life is a beautiful struggle

 

What helps me get over it?

Maddening or not … I find the ‘why things are the way they are’ stories beautiful … beautifully tragic, beautifully fortunate, beautifully doomed and beautifully hopeful. And I think it helps me better find the “beautiful solution.”

 

In the end … business is almost always a beautiful struggle between “why it is what it is” and “what I would like to do.”

 

 

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