The right question's to ask at work: Why?

The right question's to ask at work: Why?
Photo by Evan Dennis / Unsplash

(Continuing from the previous newsletter, this is a 3-part series on Why, How, What)

Last week, we discussed the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek and conducted a poll to gauge interest in learning more about how to think through the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the organization that I work for?
  2. Are my roles and responsibilities more focused on determining the why, how, or what?
  3. Do I enjoy working the most with the why, how, or what of my organization, and is this aligned with my roles and responsibilities?

Given the overwhelming response to the poll (😀), let's explore the first question in this three-part series: Can I articulate the purpose of the organization that I work for?

The purpose of an organization is also known as its why. Last week, we examined the example of Walt Disney. Another good example is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, Tata Trusts. Their why is "a journey of a million smiles."

Understanding the purpose of the organization you work for can inspire you to come to work each day (if it aligns with your own values) and provide a yardstick for judging the best response to each situation.

For example, the purpose of the organization I work for is "We build a better society through architectural products." Given this purpose, if I am presented with a choice between two forms of packaging, the right choice would be the option that is more environmentally friendly. If I am presented with a choice between two different types of window typologies, it's easier to choose the option that is safer, easier to operate, durable, and recyclable. Contrast this with an organization whose purpose is to "gain market share by selling products at the least possible price point." The choices would immediately reverse!

Similarly, understanding the why of a specific role or task that is assigned to you can be helpful. Each time you are assigned a task, try to think through the following:
  1. The purpose of the task assigned - What is the goal of the task assigned to me? ✅
  2. The questions that the outcome of the task will help answer - If this is not clear, I encourage you to talk to your boss about it. Inform your boss that if you can understand how the data you submit will be used, it will help you further improve the quality of your work, which will add more value to the organization. ❓
  3. The way in which the data will be used - Are there more (or fewer) data points that you can add to your report in your first analysis itself? Is there a different format that you need to present the data in? Is this an analysis that will be repetitive in nature? (If yes, you can set a reminder and automate the analysis to the extent possible.)🤔

Addressing the above points will save a considerable amount of time in back-and-forth emails and lead to completing the task on or before time in a way that has a measurable positive impact on you and your organization.

I hope thinking through and discovering your own answers to these questions helps you Shoot to the top!