The 3 Whys
Written By: Andy D’Ascenzo
View From the Board
At the Med One board meeting in February, I provided the “View from the Board.” While my message was directed towards the senior leaders at Med One, this message is applicable to any organization large or small.
I asked the board to think about one word. I explained that this one word could transform a business. The word is “Why.” Asking “Why?” is applicable to everything we do. It can help determine if we are focused on the right customer drivers in the functional areas we lead. It’s a litmus test to determine if we are doing the things required to succeed, especially as we look to the future. It can create alignment between and within our teams. It can create continuity that allows cross-functional teams to work harmoniously together with urgency and purpose while aligning to our business initiatives and keeping the customer at the center.
After discussing the word “Why” I introduced the following concept.
The 3 Whys
When done well, the concept of “The 3 Whys” creates organizational synergy and focus to help a business grow by taking control of customer engagement. Growth is a frequent discussion at our Med One board meetings.
High performing organizations are aligned on this concept called “The 3 Whys” They create a focused business model that is customer-centric and disruptive in how customers perceive the company, in our case, Med One. This disruption forces customers to re-think how they are conducting business and their urgency to change. Skillful organizational execution of “The 3 Whys” provides the opportunity for growth in a manner that’s more under our control.
So what are The 3 Whys?
- Why Do Something?
- Why Now?
- Why Med One?
Every consumer and customer ask these 3 questions before they make a purchase decision? Med One customers ask, “Why should I do something different than what I am currently doing?” They may be asking “Why should I rent?” “Why should I lease?” “Why don’t we just purchase what we need?” To reach more customers or reluctant customers, we need to generate and create the “Why Do Something?” before we can expect an opportunity to be possible. This is about defining the need for the customer. It is fundamental, but you may be surprised how those throughout your organization would respond. What would you say if asked, “Why should a customer do something with Med One?” Would the responses be consistent across our organization?
If a customer concludes that they need to “Do something,” they then ask “Why should I do it now?” Can it wait another month, another quarter, or another year? Many times a sales person is asking for the order and the customer or business partner is unresponsive, slow to respond, and not motivated to move the process forward. This is because there is no urgency or in other words, there is no “Why Now?” I asked this of Med One. Have we created a business case for our customers so they can speak to it as credibly and compellingly as we can? If your case is compelling enough, the customer will be motivated to act now. In regard to Med One, If we can build the case that we help our customers make money, save money and mitigate risks, we will be creating a compelling business case to motivate our customers to act now. Are you developing compelling business cases that motivate and inspire customers to act now?
Once a customer concludes that they need to “Do Something” and that they need to “Do Something Now,” they have to determine “Who” to do it with, which leads to the final “Why” Our customers would ask “Why Med One?”
How does this apply to Med One? Med One is a business focused on our customers. We believe that our customer focused business model will serve our clients and business well, which it has. The question we challenge ourselves with is how to leverage our current business practices to assure continued growth.
Can the adoption of “The 3 Whys” model put us in a position to take better control of our deals, accelerate deal closure, and grow our business? It has been a winning tool for many successful medical device companies.In business, if we can help our customers and partners answer “The 3 Whys” we have the opportunity to take greater control of our company in a less transactional way.
In business, if we can help our customers and partners answer “The 3 Whys” we have the opportunity to take greater control of our company in a less transactional way. Using “The 3 Whys” is not just a sales function; it is a function of every team in business because “WE ARE ALL IN SALES.” I ask that you think about applying this concept of “The 3 Whys” in each of your organizations as a mechanism to align with your customer’s buying drivers in a persuasive and urgent way.
Every functional team in business can ask these questions as they look at how they support their business. We can ask ourselves in our daily work, how does what I do help a customer conclude that they need to do something different than what they are currently doing? How does what I do help create urgency for customers, so they move forward with us now instead of later? How does what I do help create a compelling business case for our services? What do I do every day to help customers conclude they have no other choice than to do business with my company?
Let’s consider reviewing our customer facing messaging to evaluate if we can help our teams answers these “Whys” for our partners and customers. We can review our financing vehicles to see how they support “The 3 Whys” Do our service offerings support the “Whys” We can ask ourselves if our answers are compelling and disruptive and if they will generate more business. Do we have harmony on these 3 fundamental customer buying behaviors and drivers between our teams? Everyone can achieve this with the pursuit of “The 3 Whys.”