Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Golden Circle

In this post I share a snippet of information referenced from the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek. The ideas and concepts provided in the book talk mostly about how some companies are more successful than others (using Apple as a major theme). It advocates that most companies often don't take time to appreciate the WHY they in business in the first place, and more often focus on WHAT they do. By focusing on the WHAT they tend to lose a captive customer audience, failing to address to the core beliefs of customers, which is one of the main reasons customers choose to go a brand, or become an ardent follower of the company.

I found this pretty interesting, with a wider relevance outside of just corporate strategic management. The golden circle can be applied to both personal and professional topics, and links nicely to my RAGE model. It can also be applied to team structures as well. In fact, in the organisational sense, the golden circle flows from top-to-bottom: starting with the company vision and flowing down to each person in the company.

What follows is the core explanation from the book, chapter 3, The Golden Circle. Simon Sinek's TED talk is also one of the highest ranking talks on TED, video is embedded at the end of this post. Although Sinek makes reference to many stories and cases that appear as old news in today's time, they are still nevertheless relevant, at the very least a useful reminder...

The Golden Circle

According to Sinek, the golden circle can be used as a guide to vastly improving leadership, corporate culture, hiring, product development, sales and marketing. It even explains loyalty and how to create enough momentum to turn an idea into a social movement. And it all starts from the inside out. It all starts with Why.

Starting from the outside in, Sinek describes the terns:

WHAT: Every single company and organisation on the planet knows WHAT they do. This is true no matter or big or small, not matter what the industry. Everyone is able to describe the products or services a company sells or the job function they have within that system. WHATs are easy to identify.

HOW: Some companies and people know HOW they do WHAT they do. Whether you call them a "differentiating value proposition", "proprietary process" or "unique selling proposition," HOWs are often given to explain how something is different or better. Not as obvious as WHATs, many think these are the differentiating or motivating factors in a decision. It would be false to assume that's all that is required. There is one missing detail:

WHY: Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don't mean to make money - that's a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?

When most organisations or people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY. And for good reason - they go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do.

But not the inspired companies. No the inspired leaders. Every single one of them, regardless of their size or their industry, thinks, acts and communicates from the inside out. They start with WHY...

Get the book, watch the video!