Any enterprise or organization would benefit from the content in Start with Why. People in governance and leadership are busy people. Really, everybody is busy no matter their scope. This is why I would suggest reading a summary rather than the book in its entirety. The core message, although simplistic, is profound. However, I found the book lengthy and repetitive.
In essence, this is a call to revisit purpose. Not the mandate. Not the mission. The vision. The “Why”. The author insists that What you do and How you do it (ie your differentiated and competitive advantage) do not matter as much as the Why you do it. After reading the book, reflecting on the concepts and applying them to my own businesses, I agree with him.
My service based business is a local business in my community. 14 years ago, I saw a gap in my local market for technology skincare treatments and was passionate about providing that service. I knew if people with skin concerns looked better, they’d feel better. This was important to me. 14 years later, several other businesses have entered the market. Some have come and gone already. Now, I need to distinguish my services from others. To do that, I focus on the Why of my business. To me, it’s about peace of mind. Everyone is looking for every little bit of peace they can get these days. My business offers a little bit of peace through a quality, comfortable skincare treatments.
The Why of your enterprise or organization resonates most deeply with both existing and potential customers and clients. Once they feel a connection, they become invested in What you do and How you do it. Simplistic yet profound. In governance and leadership, we often circle back to the mission and the mandate. How often do we revisit purpose, vision, and the Why?