Inspired to Act: People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Even if I'm not writing about it here, I'm always thinking about and trying to understand why and how people are inspired to act. Some might think that this kind of thinking or approach to communications, inspiring people to act, is limited to advocacy or political communications. In fact, it's really a fundamental human pursuit - how do we best communicate with someone to inspire them to act, to listen to us, to do something, whether it's buy a product or vote for a candidate, or simply just respond to our thoughts in a conversation. 

Given that the above TED Talk by Simon Sinek has been viewed at least 25 million times since it was given in 2009 (25.6 million times as calculated by TED), there are a lot of people who want to know why people respond to certain message, and how to inspire people to act. And it makes sense. Whether in business or in our personal life, most of us want to get someone to react to our thoughts and or our products. And though I'm a bit behind the curve in noticing this video, the idea of "why" you do somethiSave & Closeng is starting to really reach a lot of people. 

I've been seeing a lot of people on Facebook and other social media, specifically those into inspirational speakers and life coaching, pointing to one question for others to reflect on: What is your why? This seems to be all radiating from the book and website Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. The same Simon Sinek from the 2009 TED talk. 

Most importantly in the context of my writings and reflections here, when developing communications plans for businesses or organizations, it's so essential that you start with knowing "why" you are doing whatever it is that you are doing. This is the basic principal of my strategic communications approach. If you don't know your why, then your what is without purpose. All the yelling from the mountain top won't result in acheiving your ultimate goal. Even if it requires taking two steps back to answer that question in your product or campaign planning, it'll be worth it. Once you find your why, you'll be inspired to act, and so will your audience. 

Article originally appeared on New Media & Social Innovation (
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