Strategy tool: The Golden Circle

The first strategic tool I’ll discuss is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. This tool can be used both for communication and strategic business development.

What is it for?

In the TED-talk embedded below, Simon Sinek explains in detail how he came to this tool and how it works. If you want to go in deeper on the subject I can strongly recommend his book Start with why (the website gives you more information on the tool as well!).

Even though his talk is often looked at as a sales-talk, I believe Sinek touches the core of purpose-driven entrepreneurship. You could use this tool to attract more people in buying your product without actually questioning why you produce your product or service, but customers have a pretty good nose for authenticity (also called “Do What You Say You Will Do“) and it will not bring you a good customer-relationship in the long term.

If used properly however, I believe this tool can be  a good guide in both defining your organization and eventually telling your story to the public.

How to use?

This how is my own interpretation of how to use this tool. I believe this tool is a strong tool for initial brainstorming both in the starting phase of business model development and communication/marketing campaigns.

I believe the best way to use this tool is by revealing each concentric circle at a time. Start with WHY. make sure everyone in the group understands why you’re doing what you’re doing. Once everyone has the same focus you could try to fill in HOW and even later on the WHAT.

Notice that each time you’re having a brainstorm on new projects, it will become easier to come up with new product- or service-ideas. While your WHY will remain pretty solid throughout every project in the organisation, the HOW might change every now and then (this enables you to explore new business models, also called disruptive innovation). The easiest product/service ideas will emerge from thinking about WHAT (this can be both incremental (optimization) and radical innovations).


Embedded below is a presentation with the tool embedded.


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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