At the heart of every successful business is a purpose. It’s not just about making money or getting ahead – it’s about having an understanding of why you do what you do. This concept, known as your “Why,” was popularised in Simon Sinek’s book “Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.”
In this book, Sinek lays out an inspiring and practical guide for discovering personal and organisational “WHY” – the power that drives success. He provides a step-by-step process for uncovering individual, or shared values and beliefs, that become the foundation on which an organisation can build its mission and objectives. He explains why the WHY is more important than any other factor in achieving lasting success, both professionally and personally.
This concept is known as The Golden Circle, a framework for understanding the power of WHY. According to Sinek, the why should be at the centre of a business or organisation followed by how (the actions taken to meet the why) and then what (the products or services created). By focusing on why first, it allows organisations to gain clarity about their purpose and use this as a driving force in everything they do.
According to Sinek, it is essential for everyone in an organisation to have a sense of purpose and direction; by getting clear on their individual and collective WHYs, team members will feel connected to one another in a more meaningful way. It provides them with a clear purpose and direction, allowing them to operate from an informed perspective and make decisions that reflect the values of themselves and the business. Ultimately, having clarity on your businesses WHY allows everyone within the organisation, from leaders down, to act as true advocates for your product or service.
Many real-life businesses have found success when finding their business WHY, creating a unified sense of purpose that drove them forward towards achieving common goals together. Here are some inspiring examples of real-life businesses who successfully found their why and how it led to greater levels of success.
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. This statement drives their mission of creating and sharing insightful, inspiring and thought-provoking content with the world. By focusing on this WHY, they have become a global powerhouse in the media industry, known for their powerful TED Talks which captivate audiences around the world.
Their success can be attributed to remaining laser-focused on their WHY; instead of chasing short-term profits or trends, they put all their energy into spreading ideas that will make people think about the world differently.
Their commitment to this WHY is reflected in every aspect of their business, from the content they produce, to the partnerships and collaborations they undertake.
To create a better everyday life for the many people
Ikea is a global home furnishing giant, known for its affordable and stylish furniture. But their WHY statement goes beyond just selling furniture; they are driven by a desire to ‘create a better everyday life for the many people’.
They take this WHY seriously – from developing sustainable products and processes that reduce waste, to providing flexible jobs in their stores. As a result, Ikea has been incredibly successful, experiencing unprecedented growth all around the world. This success can be attributed to remaining true to their why; focusing on creating products that are stylish but also practical and affordable enough for everyone to enjoy.
In 2022 IKEA retail sales reached EUR 44.6 billion and continues to be one of the most successful home furnishing companies on the planet.
To help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly."
Asana is a productivity and collaboration platform that helps organisations streamline their workflow and increase efficiency. This WHY statement sets them apart from other companies in the same space, as it focuses on helping people to do more meaningful collaborative work with less friction.
Their commitment to this WHY has been instrumental in their success; since being founded in 2008 they have grown exponentially, now counting over 1.5 million users worldwide. This can be attributed to focusing on creating products that not only help people get tasks done quickly but also empower them with tools to work smarter and more efficiently.
The success of Asana speaks volumes about the power of having a clear WHY that unites and drives the organisation.
72% of employees say that the main reason they stay at Asana is because of the Asana company mission. When asked to whom they feel the most loyal at work, 100% of employees said Asana’s mission and vision. (comparably)
So, let me ask you; do your people know your WHY? Does your WHY reflect the values of your business? If not, it’s time to start exploring and finding your true business purpose. Doing so will help you create a more unified team with a shared sense of direction and mission.
Remember: All businesses have an inherent purpose – one that is bigger than just making money or getting ahead. It’s about having an understanding of why you do what you do and acting in accordance with that purpose. With this, your team can stand together behind a common purpose and become the most powerful asset for achieving success. So find your why today – and help your business reach new heights!