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Do we really need to start with ‘why’ and if so, why?

Is ‘Why’ Really the Starting Point?

Also, here’s another question: is it necessary to dwell on the why?

Let’s tackle a bit of a conundrum today. Do we really need to start with ‘why’?

And if so, why?

So, here’s my take on it. Simply put, my answer is ‘no’, and to elaborate, I will go on to say that I don’t believe you have to start with why🤔

As an Agile and Scrum coach, I also believe there isn’t a ‘have to’ either. In fact, there’s no magic formula that everyone must follow.

Anyone claiming to have THE answer probably just has AN answer. And that’s okay! 💡

Different Perspectives, Different Approaches

Actually, if you think about unpacking ‘why’, it all starts with different perspectives and different approaches.

Also, consider books like ‘Start With Why’, a remarkable work by Simon Sinek. You’ve got to remember what it represents.  It reflects a successful approach from his experience but is not an all-encompassing answer to the question.

The Essence of ‘Why’

What’s so magnetic about the ‘why’?

It’s all about creating an emotional connection. When you start with why, you’re allowing your audience to understand the problem you’re solving in a deeper, more emotional way. This might compel them to ‘buy’ your product.

Whether it’s an actual purchase or a member of your team putting their heart into the project – that’s the power of ‘why’. 💰💼

But here’s the thing. The ‘why’ may not always be the motivator.

Alternatives to ‘Why’

But hold on, there’s more!

There’s a different approach as not every person or team is driven by ‘why’. Sometimes, it’s about being the best.

Regardless of the product, I’ve seen teams motivated by their desire to be the best at what they do.

They’re always on a path of self-improvement, always driven to excel. And that’s another kind of powerful! 💪🚀

They’re driven not by the ‘why’ but by a desire to outperform everyone else. That’s a whole other kind of power! 🌟

A Different Approach: Enter The ‘How’

Let’s not forget that there’s ‘why’, and then there’s ‘how.’

Ever thought about starting with ‘how’? Sometimes, it’s all about the ‘how’.

The process, the method, the technique.  Sometimes, people resonate more with the ‘how’ than the ‘why’.  🧩

In art, for instance, we appreciate beauty because it pleases us, not always. After all, there’s a profound, underlying meaning. Different strokes for different folks, right? 🎨

Adapting to Change

Remember to be willing to colour outside the lines.

Suppose you work out how to solve a problem. Is that good enough? Could it be better?

Of course, it could. Can we improve it? Of course, we can.

Use the frameworks, sure. But don’t be afraid to adapt them according to your team, project, and goals. It’s about finding what’s ‘good enough’ to start with and consistently looking for ways to improve upon it. 📈

➡️ If you’re interested in exploring more on these Agile and Scrum concepts, I invite you to join my courses.

They’re designed to equip you with the tools to navigate the complex world of product ownership and help you find your ‘why’, ‘how’, or whatever drives you. Let’s get your journey started! 🚀💼

author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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