One of the most powerful words in the English language is why. When asked as an interrogatory, why
has the power to change assumptions, preconceptions and mindsets. It
has the power to initiate change as well as the power to affirm the
right course. It is a word that should be used frequently but with
great care. When used the proper way, it can be one of the most
effective tools a leader can employ. And it’s totally free.
Why is a word favored by those not satisfied with the way things
are. These individuals tend to be inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists,
social capitalists and politicians. By nature, they are catalysts.
Inventors and entrepreneurs wonder about alternatives using why to provoke thought about what might be and try and quantify it as a product or service. Scientists use why as part of the scientific method that begins with a hypothesis and ends with proof. Engineers use why as a means of diagnosis: what happens and why. Social capitalists and politicians alike use why
to question assumptions about the way organizations and governments
serve their constituents. For all of these types of people, why
becomes the trigger word for invoking alternatives as well as beginning
the process of bringing people along to alternate points of view.