Innovation – Golden Circle

In the video below we take a moment to dive into Simon Sinek’s work centered around innovation and the golden circle. Simon Sinek’s work inspires a portion of what we do with both our own company and our clients at Econic.

Developing a strong innovation thesis is something in line with Simon Sinek’s concept of the golden circle.

The idea behind this is that the truly innovative leaders, the profound change makers like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers, communicated from the outside in rather than the inside out. The thesis circle consists of three parts: the why, the how, and the what. Most people start with the what. What does our organization do, what does our innovation team do, and how do we do it? Very few people, however, can answer the why.

Sinek’s research and the way he codified the circle, however, was built around the belief that the true innovators and change makers start with the why.

They take what’s usually the fuzziest part and make it into something crystal clear which informs everything else.

This is the point of an innovation thesis. Your innovation thesis should answer why: why does our innovation program exist? What do you believe about the world and what’s your purpose? If you can state that clearly for your organization, the other pieces fall into place naturally. Once you have that purpose statement it’s so much easier to put a growth forward charter or a lab charter in place, or even an idea scorecard that you can use to dictate the terms of your innovation program. Terms such as how you filter down ideas, how you generate ideas, how you take ideas forward, and even which ones to take forward in the first place.

As for the What, that’s your lab, your practice, the idea you’re working on. It’s the cadence you go through in order to progress, test, and validate that idea.

If you really want to make change within your organization and set your program up for success, start with the why. Making that why really clear, profound, and simple is one of the best things you can do for your organization, and a key part of building your innovation thesis.