January  2015     Edition 110

So What

if it's 2015?

So What

if your project is behind schedule .. or ahead of schedule?

So What

that your kid just got a A or a D on that last test?

So What

that oil is below $50 a barrel?

So What

that your supplier just told you they will be delayed?

So What

that your competitor just introduced a great product?

So What

....  about dozens and dozens of other things occcuring right now in your life at work and at home.

"So What?"

are the two most powerful words and the most important question you can ask.

Asking So What?  raises the performance of everyone around you … why?   Because it gets people to Think!  You use So What? because you care a lot … and you want others to understand and think critically about a situation.

So What? is so powerful because of the multiplicity of use.  

So What means

   - What is the relevance of this?
   - What is the value here?
   - What are the consequences of that action?
   - Why is this important (Starts with Why, but it’s really a So What)
   - How will this affect the …. (project, deliverable, department, company, customers,
     suppliers, timeline, cost … etc.)
   - What does this analysis tell us?  (The so what of the data)
   - What is important about what our competition just did?
   - How does the new policy, law, rules, etc. affect us?
   - How does the new process affect our customers and partners?
   - Oil at $50.  A good investment?  A risky one?  Stay away?  Jump in?  What’s going
      to be the affect on your business?
   - Why should customers buy from us (our so what)
   - Why should a company hire you (your so what)
   - What’s the impact when you are late … when you are early?
   - You just got a raise …  or didn’t.  What’s the so what there?
   - Your child just got an A on a difficult test, or a D.  What’s the so what?
   - What’s the effect you have on others when you change your priorities?
   - A result was unexpected.  What's the so what there?
   … and hundreds of other questions

It’s 2015 … What’s the So What?

about 2015 for you .. New job?  New responsibilities?  Family events?  Retirement goals?  What can / should you learn this year? 

Take a stab at the following:

Use So What? once a day.  When somebody (or you) says something, does something, presents information, when something unexpected happens, when you look at your checkbook, when there’s a birthday, when someone does something good;  … Stop for a moment, get out of your automatic mode, and ask, “So What?”.   You’ll have dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities to ask So What? every day.   Just one time, for three to five minutes a day, think about the “So What?”   You’ll really like the result.

The Takeaway
(the so what of this Post).  What we do is interconnected with so many other people and events.  While you don't have to understand every single connection, do query those that make a difference.  Ask So What? about significant events that happen and are unplanned.   Ask how your actions, your deliverables, your suggestions or orders affect others.   Once you start to ask So What? you'll be able to create actions and solutions for problems before they become problems.

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