Starting with Why?

I’m fast becoming a Sinek convert! If you haven’t already seen Simon Sinek’s Leadership TED Talk “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action”, then it’s here and fascinating.


golden_circle-copySinek’s concept of ‘The Golden Circle’ suggests that organisations generally market themselves, starting from the outside of the circle by explaining what they do. However, he says inspired leaders and organisations start from the inside. To change perceptions we need to focus more on the purpose  – the why.

Why explains the reasons behind what you are doing, it is emotional and motivating.

What lacks motivation,  instead it explains the details and information.

Sinek argues that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. He uses Apple as an example, people buy Apple products because they buy into the Apple ideology of challenging the status quo and championing creativity, not just that they make good computers and gadgets.

As part of the online learning for Library Lab, we have been looking at The Golden Circle and how we can relate it to our own projects and services, starting with why before moving on to how and what.

We were tasked with coming up with our own statements for our projects, so here are my why, how and what for Cook2Learn:

Why: The project aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of people, in areas of North Somerset, where obesity rates are high and literacy levels are low.

How: By enabling people to learn how to follow and prepare simple recipes, we intend to raise awareness of healthier food choices and increase confidence in numeracy and literacy, through food and food preparation.

What: Through diversifying the use of library spaces we can change the perceptions of libraries as community venues, where people can gain new skills and knowledge. Libraries are ideally placed to deliver the Cook2Learn programme, we will offer a series of workshops encouraging people to learn about food and healthy lifestyle choices, supported by new collections of books and resources and delivered in a safe and trusted environment.