Nothing that I’m going to write about is my original concept. I’m not a creative person, however I’m extremely re-creative. It’s easy for me to take a concept that I’ve learned from someone else and apply it to the current environment. Having said that, the majority of the concepts discussed in this thesis, come from a book by @SimonSinek entitled “Start With Why.” (I highly encourage you to download the book and read it in it’s entirety for an in depth understanding of all the concepts. For a shorter version there is also a video recorded TEDTalk available here.) In essence, I’ve taken the concepts Sinek talks about in his book, and have applied them to technology, companies and the world as we know it.
In my opinion, what the corporate world needs at this juncture with regard to the whole data management conversation is a dramatic shift in our thinking. Truth be told, most customers have a loyalty to their technology providers and have aligned with them as a true partner community. In order words, each are attempting to accomplish the same end goal. Contrary to what some might say, companies are not as interested in WHAT you do and HOW you do it, as they are in WHY you do what you do. And even though we may not always clearly articular the WHY, we are in alignment with our customers on WHY.
When we try to articulate the technology vision by talking about WHAT we do and HOW we do it, we are really speaking to end results and outcomes. We confuse our customers and compete with all of the other vendors in a highly commoditized market. This hardly differentiates us, leading to comparative values such as price, performance, features and functions. As Sinek so succinctly states “When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money— that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?” (Sinek, 39) If you are struggling with your WHY, I would suggest to you, especially if you are in the technology world, you should get up every morning with one thought in mind: To give the right information, to the right people, at the right time, to make the best decisions possible.
So when we connect with our customers, and they become so fiercely loyal, I believe they have connected with us on the WHY. Most of them wake up with the task of getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time, in order to make the best decisions possible. That is the vision and goal of every one of our customers. Whether it be a CIO, a BI Director, a Marketing Manager, or Operations, every one of them strives for this. Without it they cannot be successful. Whether we consciously understand it or not, when we connect to our customer with WHY we virtually eliminate the competition.
WHAT you do is deliver amazing results for your customers with some of the coolest technology and analytics on the planet. HOW you do what you do is by having amazing people who are focused on those deliverable outcomes and by using game-changing technology. With all the features, functionality, and blah blah blah…
Some may argue that this is a matter of semantics. But if we’re going to connect with our customers eventually, as a community of people who believe the same thing, then why not connect in the beginning. Bringing with it smoother sales cycles, decreased threat of competition and quicker outcomes.
This is meant as a dialogue and discussion so hopefully it will spark some thought in you that will lead to conversation.