Do you know WHY your company exists?

Simon Sinek Golden Circle

That’s a pretty basic question when you get right down to it. If you asked 10 people, most of them would likely say it’s, “to make money.” While that certainly is one of the reasons companies exist, we know that most are here to satisfy the needs of the groups they serve by providing them some type of value. Knowing that, it still doesn’t explain the key reasons why companies exist.

For those who are familiar with TED Talks and the one by Simon Sinek regarding “The Golden Circle,” he does a great job of explaining this idea. If you haven’t seen it, take a few minutes to watch this short clip. While the examples he provides are based on well-known brands and individuals, he points to three basic principles that drive successful businesses. In short, the “The Golden Circle” refers to:

  1. All companies must know WHAT they do.
  2. Some know HOW they do it, and how they add value.
  3. Very few know WHY they do what they do.

These three principles apply to all companies, from those that are just another company in the market to those that lead them. While you may agree or disagree with the Simon’s rationale or principles, the takeaway is that “People don’t buy what you do but why you do it.”

Our agency’s purpose is to effectively communicate to people how they can make their own lives better. This was defined over the past year as we looked more closely at WHAT we do and HOW we do it in establishing our core values. The WHY part came out of that discovery process and it speaks to not only why we exist but what we hope to inspire in our clients and everyone we work with.

From providing information to people about better ways of recycling and keeping a cleaner environment, to helping them become aware of how to drive more safely on Wisconsin roadways — plus a whole lot more, we’re all about making lives better.

Even though our agency started 30 years ago (with the latest iteration beginning in 2004 when Danny Mager and I joined the firm), we hadn’t taken the time to define the WHY. Prior to Staples Marketing, I was fortunate to be part of a number of successful companies that used “The Golden Circle” principle whether they knew it or not. These companies helped shape my outlook for the kind of work we do today as well as the kind of agency we’ve become. And looking back over the years, I know there are many organizations that have impacted the WHY for me personally, including my experience growing up in Scouting and my involvement more recently in Rotary International.

So, while some of you may know WHY your company exists, for those of you who don’t — know that it’s never too late.

Next time I’ll share our Mission, Vision and exciting news about where our agency is headed.

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