• Oli Shawyer

Starting with WHY

I've recently been working on building out the strategic foundations of a not-for-profit initiative that I've spent far too long thinking about, and not actually bringing to life. My piqued interest and intent to do exactly that has been born out of more recently tripping over Simon Sinek's principles of WHY.

Upfront, I want to call out that I'm not a huge fan of 'brand purpose' as a principle of growth. At least, not in the way it's often heralded in industry media as the most important factor that will generate long term sustainability and profitability (at the expense of the application and investment into the fundamentals of marketing). Whilst I think it most definitely can be a core enabler, and somewhat a spot of glue that when unravelled is mostly a post-rationalisation for choice, but far too often I've seen it used as a marketing and PR gimmick that unravels fairly quickly... we've seen it all before.* [See bottom of page for accompanying note].

Anyways, I digress.

Without being put off by the 'kumbaya' feel of it all, I've actually found it to be a fairly good framework for strategically addressing opportunity by asking and working through a number of core, sequential questions. More recently, I have again found myself using it. And whilst many years old now, for no other reason than the fact that I like to share my own work to spark conversation (and challenge), I figured I would share the inner workings of applying these same questions in a strategic process I developed and facilitated that looked to revisit and evolve the digital agency offering.

Might be of interest, help or value. Or it might not. Either way, enjoy reading!

*Side note - for instance, more recently I found myself thinking about Tesla and their want to push for a more sustainable future through the pursuit of accelerating electric transition... which is wonderful and commendable in itself... however when you pull the covers back enough, as altruistic as that all sounds and feels, it comes crashing down when you then find out that of the $5.5bn of profit they made last financial year in the pursuit of a better future, they managed to avoid paying a single dollar in corporate tax... you know... those same dollars that are used to make a better today through better healthcare, education, support services today...


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