WHAT will it take to Change?

Today, the second guest Blog from Maurice de Castro, leadership expert and speaker, telling the rest of his personal story:

In yesterday’s blog I referred to a time when I faced the challenge of playing my part in helping to turn a business around that was on a slippery slope to nowhere. I used the Yes BUT story as a means of expressing the power and impact of just a couple of words. Well here’s another powerful example.

During that same period in that same business I made another huge mistake which I learned from and has served me well for many years since in both my professional and personal life.

Here is the mistake.  As the business was in such bad shape when I arrived I spent a ridiculous amount of time asking people “WHY?”

  1. “Why do we have to lowest sales performance in the country?”
  2. “Why do we have the highest cost base?”
  3. “Why is morale so low?”
  4. “Why is customer service so poor?”
  5. Etc., etc., etc.

That seemed a good place to start and made sense at the time but it just didn’t work. I realised after a while that every time I asked the question there were no shortage of answers. Everyone had an answer, every answer was different and every answer became a personal belief.

As you know it’s not that easy to change a belief.  It occurred to me that everyone had a story and I had done nothing but get them to focus on that story and replay it to me. Whilst many of those stories made sense the fact that there were so many made it impossible to identify what the real issues were and more importantly get people to think past them.

I realised that people love a good story.  After a while I worked out that I had to change tact completely as the WHY was only pushing us back even further. So I changed the question.  The new question was.

  1. “WHAT will we do to have the highest sales performance in the country?”
  2. “WHAT will we do to be cost leaders in this business?”
  3. “WHAT will we do to raise morale?”
  4. “WHAT will we do to make our customers love us?”

A simple word and a simple blog I know and many readers will be way ahead of the game and say well of course that’s just common sense. Well as they say common sense doesn’t seem to be that common any more.  It wasn’t for me back then but it is now.  By the way, with Yes AND together with WHAT, everything changed.

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One Response to “WHAT will it take to Change?”

  1. Words and stories are very powerful Maurice

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