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“ a while back – in fact, it was a client who uses it extensively in their organization.

Simon Sinek has summed up focusing on the goal in a wonderfully catchy way and he also presents it beautifully, it’s 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 organisations. We are working with stakeholders to develop the skills and structures to 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 list 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.


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