WHO not do.

Earlier this year, an idea rose up around WHO not do. Since hearing this thought, several conversations, activities and events have called my attention back to this phrase repeatedly. The recurring theme found within warranted a bookmark, and short reflection with you too! 

First, the meaning: it's simple, so don't over think it. Read W-H-O not do. Focus on WHO (the person) vs. DO (the how). And just to be clear: what this phrase also indicates is what not to do: don't focus on the do, the how. Seems pretty straight-forward but...

Have you ever failed in meetings, in classes or in the kitchen?

If your answer is no, then by all means share your book! If in my camp of failure on occasion, the invitation is yours to read on.

  • STRATEGY (the meeting). how are you going to get there? After asking this question over and over again, what I continue to realize is that no matter how good your questions are (or your intentions), you have to truly understand WHO you are asking and WHO asked (that means knowing YOU too!). Consider Cheryl Bachelder (CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen): her story of past failure that paved a path to success in daring to serve; she focused her keen listening ears on WHO for success.
  • DESIGN (the classes, workshops)how can we rethink this? how do we reframe that? Open up to any methodology on offer across the world of design to learn quickly that essential to success is understanding WHO you are designing for. Pick up a crash course on the d.school or IDEO approach. Look at Killer Questions or a recent favorite reference, Gamestorming, and you'll see the emphasis on WHO (humans although we could insert data these days). Ask yourself how UBER managed its leading position. Certainly this company reframed the game, and they did so much in part by understanding underlying assumptions and motivations inherently driving consumer decisions. Today we trust in jumping into vehicles with strangers, free of physical payment or exchange. Just a few years ago, this would have been considered insanity!  We'll see if other cultures around the world oblige to the UBER offering... I'd encourage you to think about this for a moment; reflect on your culture, the culture, and change. Fingerprints, or dataprints? It's fascinating!  
  • MARRIAGE (the kitchen, home). how will we change? what can we do differently to make it work? The circular conversation continues; and yet I would deprive this personal setting if I didn't apply elements of this learning around WHO. I find that as you truly work on cultivating a deep understanding of WHO your mate is, your relationship will shift, guaranteed.

Well then, HOW to focus on WHO? First please smile at this question based on what you've read. Next, look up empathy. Feel free to continue your search around empathy by adding "maps" - you'll find visuals, probably persona development and that may lead to interviews. This exploration will amaze. And taking an appreciative approach in any and all that you explore here is highly advised.  

Acknowledging here that this is a loaded post with zero visuals to help you. That's your tip to reach out to me about these topics and applications, or join a yoga class to breathe through your own personal inquiry anytime!