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The Strategic Importance of "Why?"

Posted by Joe Antle on June 5, 2019 9:55 AM EDT
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A couple of friends, and a business consultant have separately recommended to me to read two different books on the topic of "Why?......

....and as you might suspect they had different reasons for recommending the books.  And I have to admit, that I have my own reasons for "Why" I went ahead and bought the two books.  

When separate colleagues who don't know each other independently recommend a couple of books from different authors on the subject of the importance of Why, one can easily become intrigued.  And perhaps one might even wonder WHY they recommended the books in light of the fact that there are many thousands of pertinent business books that could be recommended.

It's really not as serendipitous as it may seem since in both cases since there was a discussion that led to the recommended books.  I was my sharing with my friends that as part of my individual approach to personal and professional development, I try to combine focused reading and research, with experience to better understand issues and ways to resolve them.  Add to that the fact that I also shared my interest in innovation and how to create large scale change in terms of improving population health, financial and career prosperity, improving communities through collective impact projects and helping people live more productive and meaningful lives.

So, when you consider that backdrop, it really isn't too mysterious as to Why the subject of Why and the recommendations of reading to interesting recently published business books with the word "Why" in their titles would come about.

The two books are:  "Answering Why" written by Mark C. Perna and "Start with Why" written by Simon Sinek.  I have almost completed the first book which is largely focused on the importance of providing a long term purpose for millennials as employees-helping them see a great purpose in the career ambitions and ways to develop the necessary longer-term actions for the education, training and career choices.  I have only read the first chapter of the second book but it seems less directed at a specific objective or market segment (career development and millennials) and more focused on the key issues to building energy and commitment to activities related to strategic leadership-regardless of the market segment (all people) or objective (doing something big).

I plan to write a follow-up blog to share highlights of the two books and how they inform some new thoughts to add to our group's current thinking or support our group's current thinking about how to leverage innovation and collaboration/teamwork in the pursuit of improvement in socio-economic issues that impact communities and regions.

The big "Why" that my colleagues recommended these two books and the big "Why" I am reading them in tandem (or sequence as it were) are related to finding "nudges" that can be deployed "at scale" to resolve issues of importance within and across communities.  I'll post a blog later when I finish the second of the two books.  

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