Some time back I commented on Ric Merrifield's book: "Re:Think" where he created definitions for How and What in a business context. Today I came across a book that ads Why to the list: Simon Sineks's book: "Start With Why". In this book Sinek argues that if you want to motivate people to do something, think about Why your company exists.
If you are interested in the topic, I recommend going to Mr. Sinek's web site and watching the 18 minute video introducing the idea at the TEDx Puget Sound.
I agree. Here are his ideas applied to our business:
What (the business we are in): We help large technology companies sell more through their channel partners.
How (what makes us different from our competitors): Like our competitors, we bring our capacity to do work to the table, unlike our competitors, we also bring our experience and expertise. In other words, our competitors want to be told what to do -- and then they do it. We help our clients decide what to do, and then we do it.
Why (do we exist): We exist to create a great place to work. Many people could think of our business as a commodity. As processes that can be standardized so each and every last penny can be squeezed out of its production. We have unmatched passion for working together with each other and our clients to do things that make a difference.
A great place to work -- really? I say yes. There are many reasons to work and countless studies about why people work. Getting paid is in there, also the challenge, and also doing things that matter. These are mostly focused on the end result of work -- the destination. We are focused on the journey. Working side be side with each other and with our clients to deliver measurable results makes for an awesome job.