Forget WIIFM, Start asking: WIIFSA?

At a time when our politicians are providing plenty of content for comedy stand ups and dinner table talk, I find myself amazed at the amount of side line chirping and complaining without any real action being taken to change the status quo.

Unemployment has recently been reported at 26.7% and our country is on the verge of stagflation. So why wouldn’t we all want to help turn the economic ship of this beautiful country to forge ahead in the right direction?

I am not talking about joining the numerous strikes and protests or adding to the ever-expanding demand list being placed on the government. I think we should all start with what is right before us each day: pushing the country in the right direction through innovative, practical business ideas.

While there may be good reason to point fingers at how certain decisions are being made, I do feel that we are all too complacent in thinking there is nothing we can do. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that far too many of us are focused on the wrong question.

It is sadly a question many individuals ask when faced with a business decision. What’s In It For Me?

The result of this is that all too often no matter how good a potential solution is, a decision maker will generally not entertain or recommend the improvement if there is nothing in it for them personally!

I was recently involved in a pitch to one of SA’s leading banks where the solution was set to lower their risk, improve efficiency and give them a competitive advantage in the market. Sadly the project did not progress to the next level as the gate keeper “did not see the value for the bank”, ie there was nothing in this project for him to gain.

So my challenge to all South Africans sitting in corporate – yes all of you – is to look at yourself and your company as vital parts of the economy and ultimately this magnificent country. Stop asking WIIFM and instead consider the impact that a decision could potentially have on your overall company performance which could help drive the economy upward. It is time we all start doing our part to embrace change, implement innovative solutions and take our economy out of the dark age and into the digital realm.

Big results are made up of lots of small actions. Next time you catch yourself complaining, check yourself and rather ask, WIIFSA?