I want to share a conversation that reminded me of the importance of asking, “why are we doing this?”
Me: Tell me about how you do your job.
Co-worker: When we finish the project, we overnight a hard copy of the report to each customer (For $50).
Me: Do they like having a hard copy?
Co-worker: I don’t know. The file we create for them is too big to email.
Me: Have you asked customers if they’d prefer an electronic copy instead? Why?
Co-worker: I don’t know. This is the way we’ve always done it.
That evening I realized that I’ve been asking Why all of my life. In my early years my parents, my teachers and professors really didn’t have a lot of appreciation for the question. As I recall there were very few other people around me that were compelled to voice this constant question.
My early employers also suffered my incessant asking. With maturity I gained more couth, but regardless of my improved timing, the question still stuck out in contrast to my fellow conformists.
There is Power in the Question Why?
Some people have abandoned this question in exchange for simply doing what they’re told. But you my fellow heretic are not like everybody else.
The Rule Followers of history claimed,
“The World is Flat”.
“Poor people don’t need to read”
“In order to solve world conflicts you have to go to war”
“No one will ever want a computer in their home”
“That mountain is too high, no man can climb it”
“An Internet bookstore will never work”
Those people who asked WHY punched through
“We’ll I guess I’ll just have to go see for myself”
“We’ll there are more poor people than rich and God seems to care about them too”
“I think I’ll just sit here in the middle of the street and by my presence force them to reconsider”
“Computers will become personal and be in every home in America”
265 people climbed Mt. Everest in 2012
Amazon just celebrated 22 years of global domination in book sales.