Recently I facilitated a meeting to clarify goals for a local nonprofit in my role as a consultant at the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) in Dallas. Using CNM’s process, we had just completed an organizational assessment — really analyzing the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement.
After presenting the information, we broke into groups by area to come up with some achievable goals. I was mingling in the room, ensuring each group understood its charge and was making progress addressing it when I came across Why Guy.
Why Guy said: “Hey, I know what we do. I even know how we do it. But I truly don’t know why we are doing it or whey we are talking about creating goals to change the way we do what we do.”
I felt like I had been hit with a stun gun.
I had committed the cardinal sin of facilitation. Assuming we were all on the same page.
You see, we had just reviewed their Organizational Assessment scores and they were strong on mission. They all knew the mission and felt a connection to it. There was a sense within the group that they wanted to grow.
All but Why Guy, that is.
Why Guy had just read Start with Why by Simon Sinek and took it to heart. He asked the question we should all ask ourselves occasionally. Why?
Needless to say, I derailed the meeting and went back to the Why. And that conversation was rich and important and lead to revamping the entire mission statement. (And yes, another blog post I’ll write about why changing the mission is like changing the Bible, but in this case, the change was important). Attainable goals were set and decisions to grow for growth sake were rejected.
Thanks, Why Guy! I will never forget you.