Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Asking Why

We recently came across this video on TED from Simon Sinek about the communication habits of extremely influential leaders. It applies wonderfully to nonprofits wishing to drive more action for their mission and make a bigger impact on their communities. His video has received more than 2 million views making it one of the most viewed TED talks. I urge you to watch it and connect the dots back to your organization.

To begin, Simon asks what commonalities are shared by history's greatest innovators, leaders, and organizations. What he finds will shock you! He proposes that the habits of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Apple, are patterned oppositely from how most people think, act, and communicate.

He boldly codifies his finding it into a simple visual model called
"The Golden Circle." This simple model which is illustrated in the video centers around asking the question, "why?"

Simon proposes that typical organizations market what they do and how they do it but few know why they do it, and even fewer actively communicate why they do it.

Simon proposes that messaging becomes truly effective when the model turns from "outside in" to "inside out," saying succinctly,
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

Community Shares faces this question every day: Do we explain rationally what we do, or do we show our community
why we are unique and uniquely needed in Colorado?

In today's modern communications landscape,
"The goal isn't to do business with everyone who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe."

Social Media is especially attuned to this observation. The sheer volume of information makes it unrealistic to find and establish active relationships without demonstrating your beliefs. It is far better to use social media to communicate with those who agree with you already, and who are ready to accept you as a complement to themselves.

"If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe."

As the giving season approaches for nonprofits in Colorado I hope you'll find added value in demonstrating effectively why you are Unique and Uniquely Needed.

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