Want to be a Disrupter? Keep Asking Why

Posted: Updated:

As many parents are aware, the dreaded first words children learn are usually “no,” followed by “why.” These first few words are important milestones in development. By asking why (to literally everything), toddlers are beginning to better understand the way the world works. Fast-forward to adulthood, we shouldn’t stop asking why. Specifically, in today’s digital world, embracing the why is the well-kept secret to becoming a disruptor in the digital age.

Embracing the story of why

What and how have become commonplace and replaced the question why. What do we need to do to be ahead? How are we going to fund this? It’s astounding the number of leaders in organizations that are stuck asking these types of questions, without realizing the people who are leading the digital revolution are thinking about the whys. Why should we do this? Why is this change necessary? Why do customers want this?

Every successful disruption starts by asking why. Traditional IT is all about the what and how. There’s the product that is creating one solution assumed to clean up some sort of process. IT never asks the reason behind why they should change business. Digital is disrupting this idea by using technology to enable business, figuring out why technology should be used to change a process, a model or a business as a whole. Beginning by telling the story (the why), enables the existing process to be reinvented.

The evolution of ridesharing is an example of this disruption. Nobody questioned the processes of the taxi industry. The process that existed for years and years was maintained because you can’t change something you don’t ask why about, right? There was no effective way to manage unplanned travel. That is, until Uber came along and asked – why? Asking why questions created the connection between taxis and technology; thus, disrupting the model of an entire industry that millions rely on for transportation.

  • Why can’t companies manage unplanned travel?
  • Why can’t we utilize our mobile phones and create planned travel?
  • Why do consumers need this?

And look where this has taken us. Digital first is now mainstream travel. As a result, leaders are beginning to realize that they have to become a digital company first and put their primary business model second to beat the market. Look at how Uber’s digital technology enables us to instantly plan how to get from point A to point B. Taxi companies felt they were shielded by laws and process and never thought to reinvent themselves. Complacency is enemy of innovation and the digital playground is where the war is being fought.

The story tells why

The idea of digital transformation takes place from the outside in. The key is to avoid looking at just the technology and sequencing to first focus on building the all-encompassing story. Embrace the human-centric piece to ultimately drive change within the business and create real transformation.

Rather than asking how people are going to use this system, the question needs to shift to focus on the reasons “why” consumers are going to use it. Instead of dictating the system and its use, figure out the story behind the need for change to give the user a choice. That’s real transformation.

These human stories are driving change on the front-end and the back-end, allowing for complete collaboration. Understanding the story forces us to look beyond the user experience, and focus on the human platform. Connecting data that is relevant to the human, alters the experience in ways we cannot predefine today to allow users to customize their experience in a way that’s pertinent to them. Maintaining constant connectivity to the people who are going to leverage what you’re building and understand “why” they want to do the things they are doing is what ultimately transforms your business into digital experiences that allows them to embrace their digital child.

  • Perspectives

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of Taylor University)

      Taylor University President to Resign

      The president of Taylor University is stepping down. The university's board of trustees says Paul Lowell Haines has resigned from the position and will leave the Upland campus August 15. A specific reason for Haines' resignation was not given, however the Board Chair Paige Cunningham noted the move was "neither solicited nor encouraged" by the board. Haines graduated from Taylor in 1975. He later held various positions at the university including vice president for...

    • 1SI executives Matt Hall and Wendy Dant Chesser talked about the project on Inside INdiana Business.

      Momentum Building at 'Hot Spot' River Ridge

      As economic development officials in southeast Indiana welcomed news last week of Louisville-based PharmaCord's plans to invest $52 million and add up to 850 jobs at the River Ridge Commerce Center, they were quick to add there is more development on the horizon. River Ridge is a sprawling, 6,000 acre park located between Jeffersonville and Charlestown that was once home to the massive Indiana Army Ammunition plant and thousands of jobs. Today more than 50 companies call River...

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    • (photo courtesy of Governor Eric Holcomb's office)

      Governor Meets with Ag Leaders on Delayed Planting

      Governor Eric Holcomb recently met with leaders from the state's agriculture sector regarding the impact of unusual weather conditions on farms and other ag businesses. The USDA says 84 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 64 percent of soybeans have been planted. Typically, both crops are at 100 percent planted by this time of the year.

    • Fairbanks Foundation Grants Funding to Marian University

      Marian University's Klipsch Educators College is set to receive $900,000 over a three-year period from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The funding will help with operating costs of Klipsch College's New Teacher Preparation Program, which will receive installments of $400,000, $300,000 and $200,000 through 2021. Fairbanks has awarded over $2.6M to the Klipsch College since 2016.