Reflections on the “Why”


They get lost too easily as the New Year rapidly progresses. The forests we each inhabit. We quickly find ourselves racing through the trees like Luke Skywalker on a speeder bike. This is a good time of the year to step back and reflect.

So before I plunge headfirst back into my forest, I want to remember to remember “Why” I do what I do, and what the Big Problem is that needs to be solved.

I started thinking about the “Why” a few weeks ago after watching a great TED presentation by Simon Sinek on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.

Then I happened to read a blog post by Kaihan Krippendorff about how “Great Companies Solve Problems That Matter” by focusing on the Big Problems. The two put my brain into overdrive. As I stepped further back from the trees, the forest I inhabit became even more distinct, and the “Why” of things and the Big Problem came into greater focus.

No one disagrees that we are all in an increasingly competitive global race. It’s an odd race in the sense that the finish lines keeps moving off into the future. I try and discover ways my clients can use learning and development to help their companies catch up, keep up and then lead the way. Find the best practices in learning from around the world, and then teach what I discover. Learning and Development in corporations is an ongoing and continuously changing process. Not the learning part, which happens in the brain and is unchanged for millions of years. But the most current methods of learning, new techniques, updated technology and continually improving best practices. Part of solving the Big Problem these days is keeping up with all that is changing and get out in front of the curve.

I used to hear Learning and Development referred to as the “800 pound Gorilla in the room.” These days it’s more like 1,000 nattering and chattering monkeys.

So “Why” and the Big Problem are connected: To make companies smarter and improve their performance. That’s the “Why” and the Big Problem all rolled up into one.

I just hope someone reminds me to read this next June while I’m thrashing about in the forest again.


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