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A deeper explanation of HOW: HOW is CORE VALUES, and WHY & HOW come together to form your Constitution, to guide your WHAT
on March 11, 2015
A lot of people are searching for a clearer understanding of what "HOW" is (especially judging by the most highly rated review).
I was searching for it also. I found it over the course of much labor, across many other books and a large number of hours of additional research. HOW is only how you deliver your product when you start with WHAT - when you start with WHY, your HOW also changes. HOW becomes how you bring your WHY to life in your CULTURE, not products
So you start with WHY (your purpose). HOW do we deliver a purpose? HOW we deliver a WHY (purpose) is in HOW we behave - through Core Values. With purpose and aligned core values, the broad guidelines for every decision is in place. The validity of every system is obvious. The people to hire are clear. The reasons to fire are even more clear. And every person instantly knows the validity of every decision.
Think about it. Just like the golden circle concept, this fits. You cannot go backwards from WHAT (product) to HOW (core values). You will NEVER have an aligned WHY if you write the core values first. The consistency is immediately obvious. The golden circle must be in balance.
WHY is the purpose, and HOW are the Core Values around which we make every single decision, even in the absence of the visionary. It's HOW we make our WHY come to life every day. Our core values tell us who to hire, who to fire, and which decisions are right on a micro-level. Is that system or that process true to our core values?
Try to create core values. You cannot create genuine, honest core values without first knowing WHY you exist. When you know your WHY (such as apples challenging the status quo), you can then describe the values (in terms of behaviors) that exemplify that WHY. Without a WHY, core values are blatantly phony and greed-serving things. Without a WHY, nobody cares what your core values are, because all we know is your WHAT. If all we know is your WHAT, then the rest just comes down to features and price. But if we know your WHY, we can buy into your HOW (core values), which we see reflected in your WHAT (product)
Look at it in the light of Zappos:
WHY - to deliver the best customer service possible
HOW - CORE VALUES:
1.Deliver WOW Through Service
2.Embrace and Drive Change
3.Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4.Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5.Pursue Growth and Learning
6.Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7.Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8.Do More With Less
9.Be Passionate and Determined
Sure, they sell shoes online. But they dont seek to innovate how people shop online (WHAT-based HOW). Instead, they seek to bulid a culture around core values centered on their WHY. Nobody mentions anything about product until the WHAT.
The constitution is another great example of a WHY & HOW which guides us in an ever evolving WHAT. It doesnt try to make every law, or build every system. The constitution is our WHY, followed by our HOW. The president knows WHAT because he is guided by the WHY and HOW. When one president is replaced after 4 to 8 years, there is no lapse, no lack of clarity as we find in corporations - Tell me why that is? Because we define our WHY (purpose) and HOW (core values) in our CONSTITUTION, as every good company should have. Without a supreme law of the land, nothing stops a CEO from destroying the company when the prior CEO steps down.
UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
WHY - We believe all humans have a right to life, liberty, and a pursuit of happiness.
HOW - our Core Values are the values we hold most dear, through which we show what we believe, out of which our culture grows, out of which our laws are defined, redefined, and removed. It does NOT attempt to define every situation, or create every law, or prevent every problem. it is our WHY and HOW, out of which we are left to determine WHAT.
We believe in fair representation of the people
We believe in freedom to defend ourselves.
We believe in speaking out against injustice.
We believe in expressing ourselves as we see fit.
We believe that no individual should hold total power to undo these things.
Hope this helps, or at least stimulates discussion.