Start with Why – Sinek’s Golden Circle

In many discussions I catch myself interjecting the question “what problem are we solving right now”. Sometimes it works wonders to get a conversation back on track. I stumbled across “Golden Circle” some time ago – in fact, it was a customer who uses it extensively in his organization.

Simon Sinek has summed up the focus on the goal wonderfully catchy and he also presents it wonderfully, it is one of the most viewed youtube videos (18 min – or the short version in 5 min).

For me the terminology was confusing at first

  • Why – the overarching goal, vision or core belief.
    For us, improuv, it might look like this:
    We want people to be able and willing to work in an interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable work environment.
  • How – the difference
    for example:
    A pleasant working environment is only sustainable if it is also effective for the organizations. We are working with stakeholders to develop the capabilities and structures that provide such an environment.
  • What – concrete actions, products and services
    for example:
    We provide coaching for organizations and training for individuals embarking on this journey.

I had previously used a different assignment of terms: For the goals we had used “Why – What – How”. In our internal set-up we had used the three terms “Identity – Vision – Mission”, which can be mapped one-to-one to the Golden Circle

But the concept is too good – and too well communicated – to ignore. I adapt my use of language and materials.

And don’t forget: be sure to watch (or re-watch) the Youtube video.

On Key

The VSM Quick Guide: the model

The introduction to the series on Jon Walker’s VSM quick guide. It describes the simplified VSM vocabulary as used in the rest of the steps.