A Story About The Whynosaur And The Whynotaurus
By Chris Fields, Senior Strategist, 13 Ways
Why do you matter? Answering the question asks you to soul search for a reason for being. It motivates, directs, and focuses action. It forces consideration of others (competition) to position differences. Being different sells a company, a community, or you in a “differentiate or die” world – underpinning the essence of a breakthrough in business, community development, or in your personal life. To be the same as other businesses makes you one jelly bean in the jelly bean jar of life. To be the same as other communities makes you another black dot on a map in a world seeking your colourful dot. To be the same as other people makes you vanilla in a world craving tiger tiger. Ugh – enough with the metaphors you say. You get the point.
WHY. It’s such a singularly powerful word. BUT – it’s also a word that is too easily overlooked in our quest to keep our heads above water, to be “operational,” and be focused on solving the daily problems that exist in our own silos. Meanwhile perspective on the vibrancy of our community suffers. “It’s not my job” attitudes keep us small…in our cubicles…not grappling with the big picture. We lose sight of “the Why” in our daily battle with the inbox and staying ahead of the game; and too often in the smaller initiatives – the threads that form the fabric of strategic direction.
And so, the “Whynosaur” is a beast heading for extinction. The Why Comet has hit us and its ramifications are playing out. Climate change. Political, social, and religious conflict. Disease. Animal extinction and compromise of natural habitats. Terrorism. Water shortage. Shortening cycles of business solubility. Us as individuals – forced out of the labour market by technological change – wandering gutted and wondering where our next dollar lies. Few are faring well grappling with the bigger picture. Watching the news is a challenge; hope and expectation are suffering. It’s like the Far Side cartoon that illustrated cigarette smoking dinosaurs as the real reason the dinosaurs became extinct. We’re smoking a lot of cigarettes these days.
Having said all of that, though, where there is will, there is a way. It’s all a matter of desire. To get our Why back requires an adrenalizing companion question for every meeting you attend, and every thought you have that represents your attitude: Why Not?
The Whynotaurus is an adrenalizer. A tough as nails beast. Unity-fierce. A sentinel of civility. No nonsense and pragmatic in solution seeking. Stoic stare downs with the most wicked of the angry and divisive that human nature can tempest. One that relishes in freedom’s thunderous rebellion of hooves across prairie in azure sky. One that sees the sky as the horizon line and avoids tripping over the grass. “Get your freedom back… join our herd,” screams the Whynotaurus call to action.
Why can’t we do that initiative? What’s stopping us from saying yes? Why not give it a try? These are deeply enabling questions to answer if we seek transformative progress.
We defeat ourselves, and our individual and collective ambition, with the mental barriers we place in front of ourselves. Barriers are conditioned from a lifetime of obstacles people throw in front of us that erode confidence and makes us submissive to the divisive and regressive. “Why Not?” gives us back our immense human capacity to think big. It’s a light switch. A simple question. There’s no reason you can’t own it.
I think Robert F Kennedy said it best about the power of Why Not?: “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
Empowerment and enablement – be it business, community, or self – is a dangerously satisfying, productive, and giddily-fun way to approach today’s challenges and reach the highest aspiration we have for ourselves. To reach it, avoid being a Whynosaur. Embrace your inner Whynotaurus.
If you can’t see a path to get there, give us a call. We know . . . There’s Always a Way.
(And hey, why not?)