Not so long ago I stumbled on a business concept called the Golden Circle by an author and visionary thinker by the name of Simon Sinek. Deceptively simple but incredibly powerful, the Golden Circle is relevant to all businesses no matter the size or industry.
I want to use this post to introduce you to the concept as I think it could make a big difference to your business. At first, you might wonder how it all links to business process but if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’ll put it into context for a financial planning practice.
So here’s the concept…
Whether they realise it or not, the great and inspiring companies of the world think, act and communicate just like each other – and it’s the complete opposite from everyone else.
Whilst nearly every company on earth understands ‘what’ they do and most understand ‘how’ they do it, very few understand why they do it. In stark contrast, the greatest companies share one thing in common – they know their ‘why’.
Where most companies start from the outside of the Golden Circle by focusing on their ‘what’ and then their ‘how’, the most successful companies start from the inside. Their ‘why’ drives every action and it’s what makes them successful.
Take Apple. On the surface, Apple is just a company that makes computers that are nice to use (much like its competitors). But what makes Apple so innovative and successful is that they know their why, which for Apple is grounded in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. This deceptively simple but incredibly powerful ‘why’ sets Apple apart, gives people something to connect to and makes people want to buy their products.
And here’s the context…
The most successful projects we’ve worked on are the ones where the financial planning firm truly understands their ‘why’. This why provides the overarching objective for the project and drives decision making. It puts everyone on the same page and working towards the same end goal.
At first glance, the goal of business process would appear to be about creating efficiency or cutting cost or driving profit. But when you look deeper, the goal of business process is to help the deliver the ‘why’.
For example, lets say your ‘why’ is to help make Australians more financially independent. Your ‘how’ (your differentiator) may be proprietary risk tools or investment models, and your ‘what’ is financial advice. In this scenario, the goal of business process is not cost cutting or driving profit but to improve client engagement so you can help people achieve financial independence.
Knowing your ‘why’ helps you decide where to focus your efforts, what to invest in and what changes to make.
To give you some colour at a practical level:
• Is it about writing an SoA in less time, or is it about delivering your advice in a document that is clear and easy to read so clients understand their financial path?
• Is it about cutting costs by making staff efficient, or is it about freeing up staff from low-value activities so they can spend more time educating clients?
I’ll explore this concept further in future posts, but for now why not be inspired by watching Simon Sinek explain the Golden Circle in full. Click here to view on TED.
Until next time,