The 'Why' Factor

Posted on
08 April 2019


This year's Art of Brilliance 'Why Factor' workshops with Jon Peach were attended by 297 people, which is a 66% attendance rate across Persona. The sessions built on what we learnt with Darrell and it was really interesting to see what different people remembered from last year's workshops. You can see this is in the word cloud below.

Research shows the biggest factor in flourishing employees is 'making a difference' and at Persona we are lucky in our jobs to see the direct impact of what we do every single day.

Jon told us that a whopping 65% of the population don't know why they go to work beyond pay day, but if you're lucky enough to be in the 35% who have a clear purpose in their working life, you are likely to be eight times more effective in your job, as well as being happier.

Jon showed us a clip of a man singing Amazing Grace twice. The first time he sang it, it was clear he was an accomplished singer, but when he was asked to sing it again with a specific reason, his performance gave us goosebumps. It's not what you do, it's why you do it.

So what is the 'Why Factor' and why is it important? 

It's about knowing how your passion fits with what you do every day, because if you know your 'why', then your 'what' has more impact. 

If knowing your 'why' can help you to be the best version of yourself, it'll be easier to be a 2%er at work. And if your mood impacts positively on our customers and colleagues, we already know staff think that's a bonus because people who attended the workshops listed teamwork, positivity and enthusiasm among the top things that breathe life into their workplace. 

How do I find my 'Why Factor'? 

Instead of focussing on 'what' you do, start with 'why' you do it. The 'why' speaks directly to our limbic system, or 'lizard brain' - the part of you that is responsible for your gut feelings and that also processes your emotions. 

The 'what' only really involves our neocortex - the more logical part of your brain involved in conscious thought and language use. Finding your 'Why' can feel quite daunting, so Jon suggested you think about the things in your life which have made you most proud so you can find the 'golden threads' - the common themes and ideas. These will help you to figure out which contributions you've made or impacts you've had that you value the most. 

Jon prompted us to think about what brings life into your workplace, and what your best day in your current job looks like. Your challenges can also help you to see what's important to you - here is a selection of all the thoughts people shared at the workshops. 


Once you have some ideas about your golden threads, you can write your 'Why' statement by filling in the blanks. What contribution can you make to have the impact you want to achieve? The recent HIVE staff survey asked people what their 'Why Factor' is - here's a selection people have already shared:

Remember: #bethemilk - the milk is what turns dry rice crispies into snap, crackle and pop!