The Genesis Project Episode Nineteen

“Let’s meet in the conference room”, Grace said as she met with Shirley and Jim for another review of the Genesis Project. “I have some people I want you to meet.”

After introductions, Grace asked Roger to explain who they were.

Roger began: “We are the Why Team. When Grace began to send us messages, we couldn’t wait to read the next one. They were inspiring. But when she sent us the message from one of our fellow employees, that changed everything.”

Nisha then spoke up, “All of us wanted to share a story of a beginning in our own lives. Grace encouraged us to submit these. The backlog of messages became so great that Grace started releasing them twice a week.”

“But then we realized something”, said Kelly, another member of the Why Team. “None of the stories involved beginnings at our own workplace. We started asking why. That’s when those of us in this room asked Grace if we could get together to encourage employees to start asking why questions.”

“Of course, I was thrilled”, responded Grace. “Keith, why don’t you tell our visitors what your team did.”

“I will’, began Keith. “With each message that was sent out, we invited our fellow employees to send us why questions. We chose why because it was what we often asked ourselves. It is more open-ended than what, when, where, how.”

“Then we submitted one why question each week to everyone”, added Joyce. “At first, I didn’t think our fellow employees knew how to respond. Then we got a response that just blew us away.”

At this point Jim interrupted. “I love the use of why. As a neuroscientist, I can tell you that open-ended questions do stimulate brain activity more than close-ended questions. But I’m curious, what was the why question that got everyone so excited?”

Keith responded: “It was so obvious that it had us shaking our heads. Why don’t we find a use for the material we are now sending to the landfill?”

“And then we were flooded with responses”, said Roger. “From that one why question, we have now spawned a local business that can use what we are throwing away. Then there was another response for how we can reduce the waste from ever occurring. Some of our waste is now being used in our local schools as teaching aids.”

Shirley was beaming when she asked: “And was that first why question a catalyst for other opportunities?”

“It has been”, said Joyce. “Of course, we got some cheap shot why questions which we ignored. But the number of valid why questions has really been exciting.”

“The one thing I’ve noticed”, said Kelly, “is that work is fun. We have become curious. The remarkable thing is that no one is submitting a question or possible response for praise or money. In fact, they don’t want to be singled out. I think that’s what has made this effort so successful. When questions and possible responses are anonymous, they are judged on their merit, not who submitted them.”

“See what you started?” Grace asked Shirley and Jim. “I can’t wait to tell you more when we meet again.”           

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Why are hot dogs sold in packs of 8 and hot dog buns sold in packs of 10?”– Anonymous

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.