Always Try to Communicate the 'Why'
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
"This change was brought about because we..."
That sentence was included in an email I received last week about a policy change at my son's school. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I was to see the information so clearly communicated that way.
You've likely heard about Simon Sinek's book urging business leaders to Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. He states that when companies start with what they believe their purpose is, they will establish a connection with our innate drive to include those products as symbols of our values and beliefs. They make us feel like we belong to something bigger.
His theory is spot on. Communicating your purpose is exactly where organizations should start.
But here's what I felt about the email I got about that policy change and what I really respected. The school didn't just start with why, but they're continuing to communicate the why. I could clearly see how the reason stated in the email linked directly back to a part of their bigger purpose.
In the school example, they started with their why: a mission to educate children in a safe learning environment. The recent change announcement reinforced that original commitment when they explained the "because" behind it. They made it clear it was in an effort to continue to keep everyone safe, which, once again, spoke to a huge part of their overall purpose.
It's important to talk about how you're going to do things, as well as the what, the when and all the other details surrounding a goal, product, service or organizational change. But it's absolutely a missed opportunity if you don't include the "because" clause in almost all of your communications. You not only strengthen your communications by using this tactic, but you also demonstrate a constant commitment to trying to connect everything you do to your ultimate purpose.
So, my point is very simple. Start with why and DON'T STOP.