Recently been watching a video with Simon Sinek expounding the concept of ‘Start With Why’ which is also the title of a book he authored.
We had also bought the audio cd version of the book.
There are many facets of content to cover in just a single post. We will spread out the contents over several posts as the ideas in the book are well worth exploring.
Introduction : Why Start With Why
Why are some people or organizations lead by its leaders able to motivate people? These leaders, are able to inspire people to act. In fact, those who are able to inspire, give people a
sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained. The following of people – supporters, voters, customers, workers – act not because they were swayed but because they were inspired.
People who love going to work are more productive and creative. They go home happier and have
happier families. They treat their colleagues and clients and customers better. Inspired employees
make for stronger companies and stronger economies.
Carrots and Sticks
In the absence of motivated and inspiration, organizations come up with many ways to get things done or happen. These are the common methods :
Manipulation vs. inspiration
Typical manipulations include dropping the price, running a promotion, using fear, peer pressure etc.
When companies do not have a clear sense of why their customers are their customers, they tend to rely on a disproportionate number of manipulations to get what they need.
This is a easy route taken by many businesses.
Selling based on price undercutting. However, like heroine, the short-term gain is fantastic, but the more you
do it, the harder it becomes to kick the habit. Once buyers get used to paying a lower-than-average price for a product or service, it is very hard to get them to pay more.
Fear, real or perceived, is arguably the most powerful manipulation.
When marketers report that a majority of a population or a group of experts prefers their product
over another, they are attempting to sway the buyer to believing that whatever they are selling is
better. Peer pressure works not because the majority or the experts are always right, but because we
fear that we may be wrong.
Real innovation changes the course of industries or even societies, like the light bulb, the microwave
and iTunes. Adding a camera to a mobile phone is not an innovation – a great feature, but not
Novelty can drive sales but the impact does not last. If a company adds too many novel ideas too often, it can have a similar impact on the product or category as the price game. In an attempt to differentiate with more features, the product start to look and feel more like commodities and, like
price, the need to add yet another product to the line to compensate for the commodization effect ends in
a downward spiral.
The price you pay for the money you make
Manipulations don’t breed loyalty, although they can drive sales. Over time, they cost more and more.
Repeat business is when people do business with you multiple times. Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or better price to continue doing business with you. These loyal customers often don´t even bother to research the competition.
Manipulations lead to transactions, not loyalty.
Carrots and sticks are the common methods of manipulations to elicit the desired behavior, transaction wise.
There is no feeling of “we´re in this together” shared between customer and company that defines great leaders.
The golden circle
The golden circle finds order and predictability in human behavior. Put simply, it helps us understand why we do what we do.
WHAT: every single company on the planet knows what they do.
HOW: are often given to explain how something is different or better, like USP or value proposition.
WHY: very few people can clearly articulate why they do what they do – what is your purpose, cause or belief? We tend to work from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY.
Instead of asking “WHAT should we do to compete?” the questions must be asked, “WHY did we
start doing WHAT we´re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life, considering all the technology.
We will discuss about the other topics covered in the book in subsequent postings.