Whenever I need a lift, I watch Simon Sinek’s Ted Talks called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. While we may not be great leaders yet, we can certainly apply his “Golden Circle” concept to what we’re doing as we seek to grow the company.
Sinek believes that organizations that speak from the center, the “Why”, outward, to the “How” and the “What” are far more successful. Sinek contends that 100% of us know “What” we do, and some of us even know “How” we do it but a smaller subset really understands “Why” we do it. It’s not about making a profit, which is a result of our actions. The real question,” is our purpose meaningful, should anyone care, and what get’s us up every morning???” Hiring people who believe in what you do is far different than hiring someone for wages. Folks that believe in what you’re doing will work harder, longer and with more passion than just for wages. Sinek’s example is Apple Computers and the Wright Brothers. Apple believes that they’re purpose revolves around the experience of being an Apple customer and challenging the status quo. They just happen to make computers. The Wright Brothers were the first to successfully put a man in flight even though they were poorly funded and had even less support. Passion and belief were the solid foundation that those successes were built upon.
So as we’re beginning to build G2 Works, it’s important that we develop our “Why”. You can put 50 people in a room and ask how to define Analytics and I would hazard a guess you would get 50 different answers. They’re over 250 companies at HIMSS all claiming to do analytics. You can’t watch a sporting event without seeing one of those “Watson” commercials, which are a little lame, but that’s me. I’m not in favor of allowing machines to decide anything for anyone (Think Terminator and War Games). I am in favor of machine learning tools that help crunch data to support decision processes but we need to be careful about the “human” aspects of informed decisions. We humans have this great attribute called “Intuition”, which according to Steve Jobs, is more powerful than intellect. And while we might argue that point, the best decisions come from the balance of intuition and rational thinking. The combination brings all of the resources of our brain into action. This is what separates us from those who have no thumbs!!!
If we stay with that logic then, our “Why”, would have to be creating interactions with data that support and feed the intuitive aspects of each of us. Every waking moment is dedicated to understanding how to make the experience with data simple and easy. We have to mitigate the complexities of both gathering and presenting data behind the scenes. We have to engage with users to understand what matters to them and how best to augment that intuition that each of us brings to the table. We have to do all this with the idea that there is elegance in simplicity. Just because the subject matter is complicated does not mean the solutions need to be. We have a tendency to over-engineer software in ways that make the vast majority of systems less than 40% utilized. Is this achievable??? Sinek’s last example in his Ted Talks was that of Martin Luther King. Those of us old enough to remember that August 28, 1963 speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, were all moved by his words. The “I Have a Dream” speech spoke to the future of what could be. It takes a belief to make things happen. I think we just found our “Why”.