Everyone that has flown understands that the oxygen masks will drop in an emergency. Along with that everyone has heard the speech. “If cabin pressure should change, panels above your seat will open revealing oxygen masks; reach up and pull a mask towards you. Place it over your nose and mouth…” What everyone may not know is the WHY each step is important. When you pull the oxygen mask forward, there is a lever that will be tripped turning the oxygen on. If you do not pull towards you – you will not activate the valve. Important to know – right? The WHY of WHAT. The inspiration for this logic comes from Simon Sinek. Granted, the thoughts are not new, but assembled very well in his presentation (and book.)
Each person in the work place performs the tasks assigned to them at some sort of interval. We wake, we eat, we work, we come home, we sleep and so the drone-like behaviors go… How many people actually know what they do – has a why? We are not paid for busy work – but the assembly of tasks as a whole make the company more successful. Each person likes to be validated, to feel important, and to understand their business. When we do not feel validated – labor efficiency will slide. When we do not understand the why in critical business steps – shortcuts may be taken. You you discover the issues further down the stream (or up) and will problem solve the root cause only to find that the standard operating procedures call for step X… but it was missed. It was missed many times because of the lack of a ‘why’. If the step in your processes is important, then the ‘why’ is also important. Without knowing the importance – or value – in a step it is more likely not to happen.