The Why, The What, The Who, The How



I’m a world-changer… always have been. Now I’m ‘seasoned’ enough to embrace the label, not caring who thinks I’m ‘sappy’.  This post is for other world-changers out there.

Below are my thoughts about changing the world, based on my experience.

  1. If you want to change the world in a specific way, ask yourself the ‘why’ question. This ‘why’ question includes many sub-questions, including:
    • Why do you want to do it? What’s in it for you and others?
    • Who will it benefit?
    • What happens if you *don’t* do it?
    • What are the consequences for doing it?
  2. Do the market research to decide Whether you should adopt this problem.
    • Is solving the problem worth the time and energy?
    • Is solving the problem a top priority, given current needs and circumstances?
    • Who/what is solving the problem now and in what specific ways are they lacking?
    • How could an existing alternate solution support your requirements?
  3. Once you’ve satisfactorily answered the why and whether questions, and the sub-questions related to them, vet your responses to your trusted network.
    • Find or grow a broad, diverse, trusted network.
    • Know who will mentor and support you in which ways.
    • Recruit those with expertise in your areas of weakness.
    • Know the motivations of the participating parties.
  4. With the input and approval of trusted others, socialize for funding and resources for the project.
    • Ask your trusted network for their input on who would care most about the problem, who would most likely approve the solution, who feels the most pain, who would have the greatest opportunity if a solution should arise, etc.
    • Think outside the box. Who would be interested in supporting the project, but has not yet been approached?
    • How would the solution be in alignment with short-term and long-term goals for your product, for your team, for your company, for your industry?
  5. What will you do specifically to address the problem?
    • How will this new approach better address the problem than current alternatives?
    • What are the costs in money and resources?
    • What are the milestones and timelines?
    • What happens if it doesn’t work?
  6. Gather the input from a broad range of stakeholders on how to resolve the problem. From the network, select WHO will do WHAT to solve the problem, and why he/she/they are the best alternative.
    • What are the motivations of each potential partner?
    • How will each entity collaborate to deliver results?
    • Who will keep everyone on track?
  7. Work with all partners to decide HOW a solution will be implemented.
    • What does success look like?
    • How will success be measured?
    • In what specific ways will the new solution be improved over the old? Will it solve the pain-point?
    • How will results be gathered and reported?
  8. Assume that there WILL be problems and obstacles and hiccups. Persevere. But only if it still makes sense.
    • Adopt the mindset that what you get is what you wanted in the first place, even if it wasn’t.
    • Manage, lead, communicate, motivate . . . keep leading the way.
    • Proactively change your plans based on the problems you’re experiencing. Release your attachment to plans, people, processes, vision…
  9. Regardless of whether problems and obstacles occur, continually review and revise your plans to improve the likelihood of success.
    • How will successes (and challenges) impact your vision? your projections? your plan? your timeline? your stakeholders?
    • Leverage your trusted network to stay motivated, centered and unbiased.
  10. Rinse and repeat. Keep saving the world.



%d bloggers like this: