WHY vs. WHAT

“So, what is it that you do?”whyvswhat

Ever been asked that about yourself or your organization? Us too.  I am constantly asked WHAT it is that our company does…and usually I regurgitate an elevator speech or fumble through a diatribe that puts the questioner to sleep. As inquisitive humans, we are constantly seeking to understand WHAT people, companies, churches, etc. do.

While that may be an important part of evaluating your need to engage with a service provider, organization or person, it should be the byproduct of a much more significant question. The “what” should be the expression of something much more significant and deeply rooted in the hearts and passion of those to whom the question is asked. There is a much more telling question that should be asked…

WHY?

Why do you do what you do?

When consulting with our church clients, we strive to understand this question.  We spend a significant amount of time and energy with our clients to explore this.  And for them to just answer, “Because we love people and love God.”  is not a sufficient answer. If that is your answer to WHY, then congratulations, you are a church…period.  But WHY are you a church and WHY do you do things the way you do?  That is where the rubber meets the road.

In his book, “Start With Why”, Simon Sinek makes a very compelling argument as to WHY must be the starting point for any organization. He says, “WHY: Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. 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 get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

That really challenged me.

He went on to use Apple as an example.  He tells the story about how Apple and Creative Technology LTD both developed mp3 players.  In fact, Apple did not invent the mp3 player or the technology that would ultimately become the iPod…Creative did.  But there was a major difference as to how they told their story to the general public…which is tethered to their WHY.  Creative touted that it had a “5GB mp3 player.”  Think about that…in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, how many of us had the foggiest idea what “5GB” even meant. Creative made electronic gadgets…that is the WHAT that drove them.  Conversely, Apple made the appeal that they would provide you with “1000 songs in your pocket.” Do you see the difference?  Which is more compelling to you?

As with Apple, when communicating from the inside out, the WHY is offered as the reason to buy and the WHATs serve as the tangible proof of that belief. Apple’s development of the iPod…and so much more since…was driven by their desire to challenge the status quo.  To think differently.  They happen to make products that a beautiful and user-friendly…but that is the WHAT. WHAT organizations do are external factors, but WHY they do it is something deeper.

So…WHY does Cool Solutions Group and eSPACE do what we do?  Many of you know what we do, but how many of you know WHY we do it? Not many I am sure. Some of you think of us as a church facility consulting, planning and project management firm.  Many consider us to be a software company while others think of us as Facility Management professionals.  But WHY…here is our WHY:

WHY = To assist organizations be effective, efficient and intentional with the facilities they have been entrusted to steward.

That is what drives us and gets us out of bed. That is the under girding of everything we do. Period.

Now, WHAT is it that we do?  We accomplish our WHY with the following WHATs:

  1. Intentional Workshops – These are intensive engagements to drill down into the vision, mission and DNA related to WHY they do WHAT they do and HOW they do it…then explore their physical facility needs and develop plans to assist them structure their facilities to serve as the TOOL needed to fulfill the vision.
  2. Facility Assessment – This consists of several facets related to life cycle planning, “Fresh Eyes” Assessments, Facility Management reviews and overall campus condition and efficiency.
  3. Project Facilitation – This is a process by which we partner with a church to serve as their “Owner’s Rep”/Project Manager during the pre-construction and construction phases of a facility expansion, renovation or building project.
  4. eSPACE – We offer “best in class” software solutions to help any organization with facilities be more effective and efficient.  These include:

So now you know the WHY and the WHAT.  Let us know how we can assist you be efficient, effective and intentional!

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