Always Start with the “Why” for Your Internal Communications

by | Aug 28, 2017 | Internal Communications

Do you like your organization to be successful regardless of industry, size, location structure? There are few things that matter a lot like effective internal communications. This is often about communicating with your employees but can even be applied to members or your organization like students at a university or residents in an apartment building.
But before you communicate another word or roll out a new tool in your communications stack, STOP! Take a step back and think about “WHY” you are doing what you do. The Why is at the core of everything you do but is often ambiguous or not taken into consideration in many core areas of your business.
Starting with the “Why” was made popular by Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk. In this talk, he wanted to discover why companies like Apple have achieved such extraordinary success, while others with the same resources have failed. He introduced the idea of the “Golden Circle” which has three layers:

Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.
How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.

The Golden Circle & applying it to Internal Communications

I highly recommend watching the video. The simple framework of the golden circle can be applied to many areas of your business, not just marketing, so let’s see how you can apply the Golden Circle to communications at your organization:

1. Rediscover the “Why” of Your Organization
The why is unique to your business and doesn’t have anything to do with profitability, features, and what your end product is. You have an offering and understanding what makes it unique is important to understand how it how relates to your employees, residents, students, etc. They came to you for a reason but what is that?

Let’s take an example of a high end, modern techy apartment building in a local city. The property owners why is not to lease and sell apartments. Their why is deeper than that. Let’s pretend their “Why” may be to provide a place where everyone can live stress-free, stylishly and at affordable prices.
Action: Spend 15 minutes digging beneath the surface to understand what your why is and write it down on paper.

2. How Communications is Shaped by your “Why”
Understanding your why is essential so you have it as a foundation for all the communications you do. You want members of your organization to share the fundamental beliefs of your org and feel that they are a part of it.

“The HOWs are what shape our systems, processes and organizational culture.”
Communications are just one of the “hows”, aka strategies that your organization fulfills your why. Taking the example from the above, this building may offer apartments at similar prices in the area but with superior amenities, technology, and decor. Y?ou want to continually reinforce this to the people that live there. That’s where how you handle communications comes in. How will you let people know about new amenities, new events, etc.

Having a clear understanding of touch points, and reinforcing this is critical to know your why over time. Communications are one of the methods that makes this happen.

Action: Once you have your why try asking some of the members of your organization what they think your why is. List down some of the ways that you let them know that.

3. How Communications is Shaped by your “Why”
When it’s specific to communications, your plan and how you execute it is your “what”. It’s moving from theory to practice and how your company will put into practice the core belief of your why. This is how you are going to fulfill your goal of communicating more effectively with your constituents. Who is your audience? What channels will you use? How will you execute it?

Action: Stay tuned & read the next two blog posts in our series 9 Reasons Why you should have a communications plan and How to create one a Communication Plan in One Hour.

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