Yesterday we spent an hour on the phone talking with the window people replacing the large bow window in our living room.
Nobody asked why we wanted to change the window; the entire focus was on what the new window would look like.
I don’t understand windows, but it seems like the discussion should have been about what our goals were, and then the expert window people could have designed the window that would meet our goals.
Instead, the expert window people spent an hour trying to teach us about windows so we could tell them what window we wanted.
I think we do this in our organizations as well. We get so focused on design and process that we lose track of the goal.
This week, when you find yourself getting stuck on a project or task, try stopping and asking yourself:
Why before what. What before how. How before when.