Sinek and the Golden Circle of innovation

Sinek and the golden circle of innovation

Today’s selection is this motivational video by Simon Sinek, a master in the Art of captivating the audience while only teaching a single thing and demonstrating it several times in the course of the same recording session. I find the video as impressive in terms of presentation skills as of the contents. Sinek is the inventor of the “Golden Circle of innovation” concept:

The Golden Circle of innovation is something very simple, and very often, simple things are the most effective. Yet, simplicity in this particular example boils down very much to the presentation skills of a top-class orator. What Sinek shows here is an explanation of how leadership, and innovation work, and the reason why true leaders manage to innovate and cross Geoffrey Moore’s chasm (see figure per below), in order to convince the early and late majorities.This is applicable, not just for one form of innovation in particular, but whatever field of innovation is concerned. Sinek quotes three very different examples:

  1. Jobs at Apple (“because everybody can understand that particular example” he says, in essence),
  2. Martin Luther King (“who shared a dream with us and not a plan”),
  3. The Wright brothers (who managed to fly an aeroplane whereas they had no money and not even education and no other reasons to succeed).

 

What’s the trick? It’s very simple, at least on the surface of it: it suffices to focus on one single question “why?” and everything else will follow suite. Whereas we (marketeers) tend to focus on the “what?” and the “how?” of the things that we make and sell: we spend all our time on the features even though they are more or less uninteresting – most of the time not interesting at all – of our products, whereas we forget one essential thing: why we make them, with what philosophy, with what vision.

Like all simple things, it’s all very complicated to implement: on the one hand, having a vision doesn’t mean that your products must have no features (Jobs, and Ives, was obsessed with product features and quality but he was doing this with a vision); besides, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to have a vision (most of the time, most people are obsessed with details and have no capacity for abstraction); lastly, not all visions are good (there are tonnes of visionary men or women who aren’t leaders, and are considered lunatics and will keep on preaching in the desert; not all visions have the same value).

Forming a vision, the ability to inspire, innovate and lead cannot be taught, and it takes more than a recipe for innovation; it’s a state of mind, a way of life. Besides, being a true innovator means that you should not be afraid to be despised.

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