The Why is Important! (by Rod Northcutt)

If you are reading this, then you have probably read what we do and plan to do—it is all really exciting for us and we feel confident that it will not only be a great contribution to the community, but it will be a game-changer for individuals. What you have found in the rest of the MT Blog site is why we do it—I am going to try to unfold our intention, impetus for the creation of MAKETANK, and desire to do the stuff we do. I know that the why is important, sorry it is eclipsed by the other “w”s.

Here is a quick story: we have a great educational initiative going with a sharp group of teachers and a rather large group of students. We initially identified a niche (a void in the curriculum) by holding many meetings to gain trust and to brainstorm ideas, and then we started committing to projects, connecting the actors, and promoting the relationship. While it has turned out to be solid, it was frustrating to us that it took so long to do. It was clear to MAKETANK that it was a great idea, and it has now proven to be a great project that is valued by the other actors, so why the hell did it take so long to develop? Well, in one of our many meetings, one that was somewhat far along, that is, we were working on the form of the project and hashing our details, one of our partners (an educational administrator) surprised us. He said that he didn’t move on the project because he could not figure out what we (Rod and Kate) were getting out of it. It was then that we understood—until the stakes and benefits are laid bare for all to see, there will not be the trusting relationship needed for a healthy partnership. We got it. I can speak only for myself, but I am aware of Kate’s reasons as well as Christina Miller’s and Alysia Fischer’s (our other two board members)—we are all in alignment. So, I my next few posts will be my reasons for doing this, perhaps you will see theirs as well.