Start with who

Most start-ups, businesses, programs, products and services fail because we forget to ask 2 important questions:

  1. Who’s it for, and
  2. What’s it for

Whether you’re an employee, employer, freelancer, entrepreneur or team leader, discovering the reasons why you do what you do and who you’re doing it for can make all the difference. By asking these questions and answering them honestly, you’ll be more likely to make better decisions and offer the right thing, for the right reasons for the right people.

Knowing who it’s for and what it’s for enables us to deliver what people really need, rather than what we think they need.

Here’s an example:

When people are unwell, they visit their primary care provider’s office or the emergency department.

But we’re past the point where people have the time or patience to wait 8 hours or 2 weeks to be seen for minor problems.

Some of the questions we should be asking ourselves:

What do people really want? 

Do people want to be sick? 

Do people really want to go to the emergency department? 

Would people rather be treated at home instead?

Do different people want different delivery models of care? 

Do people want a better health care experience, one that’s focused on values, convenience, partnering and empowerment? 

Do people want to avoid getting sick or injured in the first place? 

The people you hope to serve: What do they believe? What do they want? What do they hate? What do they hope to avoid?

Rather than look at what you’re offering and try to make people like it, it makes far more sense to identify what people want and what they don’t want, then figure out solutions based on that.

Take a look at the processes, systems and tasks you engage with every day and ask yourself who’s it for and what’s it for. If you discover that what you do or what you see is “just the way things are done around here”, it’s a sign there’s work to be done.