Why not?

Last month, I shared that my firefighter college friend sent me his department’s proposed “Mission and Values” statement for some editing feedback. I gave him some, along with a completely rewritten version that came right out and said what I thought they were trying to say, without all the formal just-like-every-other-mission-statement speak (you can see some sample passages in the past post). I called it “Kevin’s version the chief will never approve.” Turns out I was wrong. I was happy and a little shocked last week to learn that they adopted almost all my verbiage, including the samples shared in the last post.

I won’t share the new version here because their mission statement—and this post—are not about me at all. But it was a good reminder that sometimes the path to a welcome change or a better way is just one person who says, “Why not?”

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” is a fine reason to keep things the same if it’s a source of pride for the people doing it. Honored traditions and best practices gain that status when they work well and people embrace them.

But if it’s just been too long since someone considered whether the way you’ve always done it is in fact the best way, if you don’t have a good reason to keep things the same, it might be the perfect time to ask, “Why not?” and consider trying something new.