When we were validating an idea for a new startup in the customer experience space in 2019, one of the questions we asked was “What’s important to you and your life?” and a follow-up question was, “Have you ever been asked this question before?”
About 80% of the people we surveyed said they had never been asked that before. We thought ‘No way. That can’t be right.’ It’s a fundamental question for human beings.
So, we set about interviewing random people in 3 different countries to ask that question so we could see if these results were representative.
We literally walked up to random strangers on the street, talked to people we knew, talked to strangers on trains and ended up interviewing over 100 people in six months.
We found that 87% of the people we interviewed had never been asked that question, or anything like it in any meaningful way, not in work or life. Of those few who had, what we noticed was, they were far more productive and clear on their goals.
What we discovered through asking a simple question was that when we did ask people, it opened up new possibilities for them and for us.
Many of the people we interviewed found the question confronting but afterwards, they’d go away and think about it. They were able to refocus on what mattered.
The biggest thing we discovered by asking this question was that asking it had a profound impact on what was important to us as well and that’s when we realised that it’s the conversations that mattered more than any introspective work we did. And now we want to share our methodology for having transformative conversations with others.
Nathan Aherne is an accomplished business founder and manager, having built more than twenty businesses (he started very young) and having worked at Executive Level of several public and private companies.
In 2005, he Co-Founded Reddog Technology with long time friend, Jason Rudolph. In 2009 he was featured in Smart Company’s Hot 30 under 30. Nathan’s professional experience has given him exposure to many facets of business, from scaling businesses to multiple countries to complex international law, finance, human resources and product development.
He has broad international business networks and has advised many successful private businesses, business people and publicly listed companies on tech, business strategy and people.
He has extensive technology experience in over 20 industries with real-world experience in software (desktop and SaaS), hardware, UX, UI, change management, global-scale infrastructure, networking, virtualisation, App development, Artificial Intelligence, embedded and everything in between.
Cara Szellemes has been a student of human behaviour for over 30 years through her work in marketing and communications and through 10 years of building businesses.
She’s an award-winning startup founder, content strategist and copywriter, an Amazon bestselling author and a professional podcaster.
She currently works in an innovation team within a multi-billion dollar global company and gets to put the power of #wityayl into her work and life every single day.