Forgetting why you/they’re here

I enjoyed this quote from Joi Ito in a recent article in Fast Company:

“The Japanese government once asked me to be on a committee about taxes and information technology. The first thing I said was, ‘Let’s figure out a way to use resources more efficiently to lower taxes.’ And they said, ‘No, no, no–this committee is about using computers to collect more tax.’ So I asked, ‘How do we reduce costs?’ And they said, ‘Oh, there’s no committee for that.’ [Laughs] That’s the problem with large organizations. They create roles and constraints, and sometimes people forget why they’re there.”

It’s similar to something I overheard recently, “Your customer doesn’t really give a **** about your silos or internal politics.” In essence, we so easily forget why you/we/they’re here. -JM