Have you ever walked into a business and asked them if they could do something and when they tell you they can't you think, "why not"? Have you ever had a customer come in and ask you for something and when you tell them it isn't possible, they have asked you the same thing?
While it might frustrate you when you hear this question from someone else, in reality it is a question that begs asking.
The question itself is simple, although there can be very different perspectives when being asked. From one perspective, it requires you to defend where you currently are. Your employee wants to work from home and you say “no”. When the individual says, “why not?” immediately you come up with all the reasons why this isn’t possible. You defend your position and in doing so, keep things as they are.
From the other perspective, it could be a choice to explore what would need to happen to allow this to be possible and you ask yourself, “why the heck not?” It requires you to tap into your creative juices and to see what things would happen to make it possible. It could also allow you to see some benefits you might have missed initially in defending your position.
In the case of the employee, you might have to change or enhance some of your software. You might use Zoom or Face Time for face to face meetings, which could also be attractive for your clients. It might allow you to expand the number of employees without having to expand your space. It might be a great selling point for hiring in new talent. In the end you might find that the pros would far outweigh the cons, but it requires you to explore the possibility.
We believe in the rule of three. This means that anytime you have three people ask you for the same thing, whether that be employees or customers, they are telling you something important. They are telling you that rather than defending how it has always been, it is time to figure it out, on the other side. You still may choose not to make the change, however what I will tell you is that if you don’t figure it out, then someone else will. If people are asking "why not", then they are already looking for someone who is willing to answer that question.
Attracting and retaining talent and customers is the cornerstone for any business. Many times, business owners believe it comes down to dollars and cents. While this many be true in some cases, there are many times it isn't. People don't buy iPhones because they are the cheapest. They buy them because someone was bold enough to say "why the heck not". People don’t wear Nike because it is the cheapest brand on the market. Employees don’t work for Zappos because they are the best paying. People don’t buy Rolex watches because they do any more than tell the time. People want to be associated with value and sometimes real value is in being able to offer something, no one is bold enough to do.
The next time someone says to you “why not”, choose the flip side and ask yourself “why the heck not”. You might be surprised at what kinds of opportunities you can create in your business