New Zealand’s WHY – Well Being

why New Zealand

Yesterday I wrote: “get clear on the WHY and the HOW is easy“.

In that post, I noted: “collectively when we are all clear on our WHY then we can also trust each other on the team to work out HOW to achieve it.”

Today I highlight another radical piece of leadership from Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

As reported in the NY Times recently, the government of New Zealand will now guide their budget on the well-being of their people.

The WHY will change the WHAT and the HOW.

So, the WHY from the New Zealand government may seem obvious, but to be so explicit with this is ground-breaking. From the NY Times piece:

“This budget is a game-changing event,” said Richard Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics who is an expert on life satisfaction across populations.

New Zealand is not the only country that is starting to rethink whether blunt economic measurements like gross domestic product are the best gauge of a nation’s success. But, Dr. Layard said, there has been “no other major country that has so explicitly adopted well-being as its objective.”

“Get clear on the WHY and the HOW is easy” is a phrase I use often. I also frequently use it in combination with a reminder that the “six most dangerous words in business” are “we’ve always done it this way”.

New Zealand is changing their WHY away from “blunt economic measurements” the orthodoxy of budgeting for a country, to different measures. They are questioning the way they are going to do things moving forward.

Perhaps this type of thinking and questioning comes naturally to me. I’ve certainly focussed on this in my work and the role I play for clients for a long time now. Clients tend to work with me on transformative change, which almost always has an element of them needing to get “unstuck”, hence I will ask them questions to challenge their WHY and the way they do things.

I hope this post can act as a prompt (and perhaps later as a reference tool) for you to question your own WHY and the way you are doing things to achieve it.


Also published on Medium.

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