Getting Back To Our ‘Why’

Joseph M. DeFeo Blog

Welcome to 2017. Last year was one of growth and change for Juran. We looked back at our successes and failures to identify how to improve for the future. We recognized we need to look back to move forward, we needed to understand our “why” again. Your “why” is something you believe in and motivates you to do what you do every day. There are leaders that live by their why and others that live by their “what”. The ones focused on their “why” are the ones that make significant changes to the world, one of them being Steve Jobs.

Prior to Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created something called the “Blue Box”. It was a device that allowed people to make long distance phone calls for free. Even though Jobs and Wozniak never used the device it highlighted their common “why”; they were non-conformists, original thinkers, and two people who constantly challenged the status quo. Jobs was perceived as a perfectionist who always aspired to position his businesses and products at the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting innovation and style trends. He summed up this self-concept at the end of his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007, by quoting ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky stating that, “‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will.” Jobs was always striving to think ahead to the future to bring the best products to his customers. Time Magazine declared one of his many great projects, the iPhone, “Invention of the Year” for 2007.

We took time to look back and identify our “why.” Dr. Juran was a leader in the quality management movement and had a long career as a trainer, author, and consultant. He believed that a universal principle; the root cause of quality and business problems were caused by people. Towards the end of the 1970’s he was only able to reach 20 to 40 people a week with this message, and he wanted to reach thousands of people to share his principles. To enable this, Dr. Juran created a videotape series called Juran on Quality Improvement and founded Juran Institute, Inc. in 1979. The institute was his mechanism to deliver his “why” and his ultimate goal was to repay society for all the great things it had help him personally achieve. Apple was the mechanism to deliver Job’s and Wozniak’s “why.” Even Steve Job’s shared the same approach to solving problems within his organization, he was quoted saying,

Juran’s optimistic approach teaches us that people in our organizations are very smart. They’re not pawns, They’re very smart. And if given the opportunity to change and improve, they will. They will improve the processes if there’s a mechanism for it.”

Snapshots of our website over the years (starting from 1996)! Visit our site to see what it looks like now.

Many things have changed since Dr. Juran founded Juran Institute, but one thing remains the same; our optimistic approach and our constant desire to share with the world Dr. Juran’s “why.” In 2017, we are looking to expand and utilize new technologies to spread our message even further. We enjoyed looking back in time to understand our “why” to readjust and improve for the future. This is a process everyone should partake in. Have you ever wondered what your “why” is and “why” you do what you do?


“iPhone History — Read About The iPhone Story Here”. The Apple Biter’s Blog. November 4, 2011. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2014.

“Live from Macworld 2007: Steve Jobs keynote”. 2007. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2010.



For more information on getting back to your own why and how Juran can help you leverage it to improve your quality and productivity, please get in touch with the team.


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