Asking Why Not?

Asking Why Not?

Constraining only your target, gives you flexibility in how to reach it.

Too many give themselves constraints on both methods and ends. The largest contributor to this is dated knowledge. One of my favorite summaries on how all knowledge has a half life was written by Shane Parrish. The takeaway?

Facts don't stay facts forever

Knowledge created in business starts with a very knowledgable individual who codifies their findings to help scale an operation. Without up and comer's ever learning the whys behind the whats, that knowledge is never challenged.

Changing World

But things change, technology advances, and what was a fact may no longer be so. Operators need to challenge the status quo.

Ask 100s of questions. Most you'll look stupid asking... some will reveal new methods, competitive advantages, and new business models.

Change Your Thinking

When you are focused on a target such as profitability, capacity, or profits, you can throw out what would "should" be done, and start asking what can be done.


When machining, you generally want to produce parts in a way that extends tool life and allows for minimal consumable spend.

This means slower parts, less output.

This also means less revenue per day, per person, and per machine.

What if its cheaper to purposefully ruin tools, wreck machines?

What if you make more from the increased production than you lose in extra tools and replacement time?

It might make sense to actually push the machines harder in order to make more parts. A machinist will say no... but an operator should at least ask what if?

Sometimes you just might discover something new.


The best operators I know are curious.

They ask questions.

They ask why, what if, why not.

They look stupid often, but are innovative enough that they keep progressing.

Start questioning the facts around you because some of them may no longer be facts.