Why does Rotary International exist? Why do you exist? Why does your company exist? Find out what your WHY.os (WHY Operating System) is and how it can help you work with others more effectively and make even better decisions.
Paul MenigCEO Tech-I-M Business Accelerants™ at Business Accelerants
5. Our Mission
• We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance
world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our
fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
6. Our Vision
• Together, we see a world where people unite and take action
to create lasting change — across the globe, in our
communities, and in ourselves.
7. What We Do
Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action
on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 46,000+ clubs work together to:
• Promote peace
• Fight disease
• Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
• Save mothers and children
• Support education
• Grow local economies
• Protect the environment
21. 7 Elements of Culture
• Social Organization
• Customs and Traditions
• Arts & Literature
• Forms of Government
• Economic Systems
22. 7 Elements of Business Culture
1. Social Organization
How teams behave, afterwork get togethers, group volunteer opportunities, banter with each other,
2. Customs and Traditions
Company history, on-boarding process, yearly awards, company shirt or tie, handshakes, titles, lunchtime
Mission/Vision beyond profits, values, importance of people, believe in patents, continuous improvement, lean, teams
Common terms for finance, strategy, HR, sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing, acronyms everyone
5. Arts & Literature
Logo and its meaning, policies/procedures, guiding books on management, signs, website, marketing materials
6. Forms of Government
Organization chart, board, standing meetings, annual processes, corporate directives, position descriptions, how
decisions are made
7. Economic Systems
Budgets, expense accounts, monthly review, forecasting, planning, employee benefits, profit/loss, balance sheet, cash
23. 7 Elements of Family Culture
1. Social Organization
First born, twins, mother-daughter, mother-son, father-daughter, father-son, grandparents, . . .
2. Customs and Traditions
Sunday dinner, holiday celebrations, birthdays, helping in kitchen, dad’s barbecue, . . .
Church, principles you live by, values, beliefs, . . .
Mom says, no swearing, I sound like my mother, praise words, . . .
5. Arts & Literature
Decorations, wall displays, refrigerator door, word plaques, . . .
6. Forms of Government
Dad’s in charge, what Mom says goes, this isn’t a democracy, . . .
7. Economic Systems
Bills, allowances, chores, piggy bank, . . .
• Today’s presenter will discuss how to accelerate your impact in life by understanding yourself better. If
you know why you do what you do, you are more
• Purposeful and
• Paul Menig has learned this while spending decades developing and leading teams to develop new
technology products and services across industries at General Electric, Eaton, and Daimler Truck. Paul
is always looking for a BETTER WAY to do things by SIMPLIFYING the complex and interconnected
and making things CLEAR for others to act
• Please welcome Paul and his presentation
• WHY.os Why?!?
If no introduction
Let’s discuss how to accelerate your impact in life by understanding yourself better. If you know why you do what you do, you are more
I’ve learned this while spending decades developing and leading teams to develop new technology products and services across industries at General Electric, Eaton, Daimler Truck, and consulting for manufacturing, technology, and transportation industries. I’m always looking for a BETTER WAY to do things by SIMPLIFYING the complex and interconnected and making things CLEAR for others to act. Why oh why did I make that mistake or accomplish that important task.
Let’s start with the end in mind. I noticed last week, that you end with a recitation of the 5-Way test, an important variation of the 4-way test. So, with the end in mind, let’s have some fun.
No, not YOU. I barely know you.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever uttered these three words to another person?
[In a live presentation I would certainly see heads nodding up and down or would see hands raised if I asked the members to do that.]
What response do you expect or hope for? Probably four words such as “I love you to.” That would be a lot better than silence or a flippant “ditto” or “back at you.”
Alas, not my wife. I don’t get any of those responses. She asks in a tone that’s hard to describe and draws out the response.
After 52 years this month since we met in high school, and after 46 years of marriage, I have yet to come up with an answer that satisfies her and keeps her from asking “why” again. Such a basic question and so difficult to answer. It’s driven people like Einstein to figure out the immutable laws of the universe and still believe in a supreme being who made those rules. It underpins much of our learning and striving for better understanding and impact in our lives and the world.
Do all of you remember when your two or three year old child learned how powerful that one word, three letters are? They could drive you mad with repeatedly asking that simple one word question.
Why? . . . Why? . . . Why?
I expect we’ve all reached our limit and resorted to saying, “ENOUGH” or “Just because.”
And yet, it is one of the most important questions in life.
Let me give an example.
From the Rotary International web page, here is the Mission of Rotary. It tells me HOW you provide service and WHAT you want to accomplish. But, like that two year old, I ask WHY?
So, how about the vision of Rotary International. Okay, you “see” something in the future. That’s absolutely wonderful and great. But WHY?
WHAT Rotary International does is also on the about page. All of you are doing wonderful work. Last week’s report on the international assistance and development was awe inspiring. But, WHY do you do what you do?
Last week I learned your theme for the year. Create Hope in the World. That’s a fabulous theme to rally around. But, I ask again WHY?
I think I found the best answer to WHY Rotary exists is to “better our world.”
I don’t know if you are a Tony Robbins fan or not or whether you’ve walked across hot coals as a colleague of mine has done with his son. Tony Robbins has said, “When you know your why . . .”
“You’ll know how to live.”
Fifteen years ago now, Simon Sinek, at the wise old age of 36, wrote a book based on this one simple, yet challenging question. [Please raise your hand if you are familiar with Simon Sinek] It’s been an inspiration to many entrepreneurs in the tech world.
In 2009 he spoke at a TED conference and described your need to start with WHY, then develop HOW you will accomplish that and, then, WHAT you will achieve in life and in business.
A famous writer from the 19th century famously quoted, “The two most important days of your life are”
the day you were born
“the day you find out why”
Do you recall as a teenager and/or in college with struggling with what you want to do, what you were meant to do, or why you are here? Perhaps you had the same feelings during some mid-life crisis. Heck, as you retire you may find yourself asking the same questions again.
Any ideas on who said that?
Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. [Did anyone know that?]
I edited a short video on youtube to less than three minutes that can help you understand the how you act differently when you know your why. Please watch and listen.
Let me spend a few minutes on the application of WHY, HOW, WHAT to business and non-profits like Rotary.
In a typical business, you have values, mission, and vision. You set your goals, strategies and objectives based on that. And your everyday tactics and actions should be aligned. Along the way, your company develops a culture that permeates the employees, the customers, and the suppliers. In many ways, it becomes your brand identity.
Are you fascinated at all with the discoveries made by archeologists and anthropologists? When they study civilizations, they look at seven elements that define the culture. It helps to define what makes the Mayan civilization of Central America different in some ways from that in Mesopotamia. Let’s take a look at how it applies to a business.
If I translate this to a business, here’s how I picture it. Social organization is about the teams and how cohesive and supportive they are. Customs are based on dress and company history. Yes, a business has a “religion” in my mind. What is important to them above all else? Is it the mission of the company, profits, inventions, or people? Every industry has its specific language and businesses develop their own inside language and jokes. What you hang on the walls in the factory or offices and what you put out on the internet is the business art. How you organize is your form of government. How you track the health of the business financially and otherwise is the economic system.
If you have a family business, you have some additional layers for each of the seven elements that define the culture of the family. Some of it is in-line with the business culture, and some is often not. Often it differs from one generation of the family to the next.
I think a better way to look at this is to invert the pyramid and put your values and culture at the fulcrum of the spinning top of your business or life. Keep it spinning well and all is good. If you don’t, it topples over onto its side—waiting to be picked up and started spinning again. I believe values and culture are part of what define the WHY.os of you and your business. Note that I’ve annotated the top on the left with the basic questions we learned in grade school of Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why.
Through studying why I do things I’ve learned that my why is to find a better way and share it. I’m an engineer by training and have 6 patents with my name on them. So that fits pretty well. How I do that is by making things simple and easy. That fits as well, as I am a systems thinker and can see in my mind all the interconnects of something that is complex. It’s just like a CEO of a business who can see all the moving parts and how they interconnect yet makes priority decisions and what to do and when. Finally, like that CEO talking to shareholders, I want to make it clear to others.
There are lots of personality assessments. I’ve been subjected, I mean taken, many of them throughout my career. The WHY.os is a great first step in discovering more about yourself and what drives you, what excites you, what causes you to accelerate your actions. Consider that there are nine different why’s. The most important one is your WHY. The second most is your HOW and the third most important is your WHAT. That’s WHY.os.
I’m BETTER WAY, SIMPLIFY, CLARIFY. My spouse is CONTRIBUTE, BETTER WAY, TRUST. She always wants to contribute to the cause and will suggest some better ways to make an event more memorable and enjoyable. And she wants to know you can trust her to get it done and she can trust others. Can you imagine how she reacted when our children were younger and they lied? Whew! I don’t want to relive that.
As an organization, I’d suggest Rotary’s WHY is Better Way
I hope I’ve convinced you WHY you should know your WHY.os.
I hope you are asking, HOW do you discover it?
So that you can know WHAT is your WHY.os?
If you’d like to take that first step to understanding better why you do things, how you go about it, and what you expect, scan this QR code and complete the 8-10 minutes of questions. The code will be active until noon today.
If you want to talk further, here is my contact information.
Now, what questions do you have?
Please have a great day. From my perspective make it better, simplify your life and business to focus on what most important to you, and what you accomplish will be amazing.
One more thing. Now that we’ve had some fun, let’s end as you always do.