An informative and engaging Master’s Connection on “What Is Your Why?” presented by Jeffry Brown and Dan Wallace from Catalytic Innovation saw more than 80 MBA students and alumni in attendance last week—during spring break no less. The interactive discussion on this interesting topic focused on personal and corporate viewpoints and ‘why’ we do things in our careers or organizations.

As in the past, those in attendance were a mix of happily employed and those who are contemplating a job and/or career change. Attendees were from a wide range of industries and sizes of companies with a large component of entrepreneurs.

The What Is Your Why concept is one that is hitting the marketplace hard today.  Jeffry and Dan stressed that everyone has a Why for what they do, we just don’t always realize it.

Key Why benefits: it is easier to motivate employees who share a passion because messaging is emotional. Why is the best way to connect with peoplecustomers who connect emotionally become brand advocates. In this vein, social media outreach from your friends rings true because it is authentic.  The Why factor is what should be asked for any major activity.  Why are we doing this?

Why is expressed through aspirations, emotions, purpose and making a difference. Once the Why is determined, the process of supporting it will fall into place with more focus and meaningful results.  In summary, a “Why Culture” creates sustainable competitive advantage as well as creating a framework for better decision making.

The large number of attendees and the energy in the room during and after the presentation suggested that the topic was one of strong interest in today’s environment.  As always is the case with the Master’s Connection event, many were enjoying reconnecting with others as well as meeting new people as part of the networking theme of this forum.

The next Master’s Connection will be on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30AM.  Since many in attendance were interested in the ongoing process and learning more about the implementation of this topic in real life situations, the topic will be a sequel to What Is Your Why?—What is Your How?  Jeffry and Dan have agreed to come back and continue this discussion, helping people understand how the building blocks of ‘Why’s’ lead to ‘How’s’. Watch for more details and online registration dates in the coming months.

This post is by Tom Colosimo from Graduate Business Career Services.