Why, What, How Decisions

Simon Sinek’s “start with why” concept works well to describe the three elements of a decisionAccelerator model.

Sinek’s idea is that the “Why” defines the Purpose, Cause, and or Belief of what you are trying to achieve. Often we find that this is not clearly articulated or commonly understood by a group of people, yet without knowing the “why for” of something, it is very hard to define the steps to get there and it is hard to motivate people to extraordinary performance. We all need to know why we are doing something; just knowing what we are doing and how it is done is not enough.

decisionAccelerator model (goal and objectives)

decisionAccelerator model (goal and objectives)

Often we see clients focused on the HOW (i.e. the technical solutions), yet they have not reachded consensus about WHY they are doing it and WHAT they must accomplish through the technical solution options (or the HOWs). The models are simple, the group thought process is the value.

So lets look at this idea as it is applied to a decision model (below). The Goal statement is why we are doing it, the Objectives outline what we want to achieve, and the Alternatives are how we’re going to accomplish the Objectives.

WHAT contributes to the Goal (or WHY we are doing it), and then HOW is the way in which we will achieve the “whats,” these can also be thought of as “wants” (i.e., this is what we want to achieve). In this example, the prioritized projects we will fund are selected/ranked based on how they contribute to the business objectives. These objectives drive our overall goal for the business unit in this case. There were more than 100 projects in this portfolio, this is just a subset example.

Complete decisionAccelerator model including alternatives