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Designing value propositions: An exploration and extension of Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ model

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Organizations feel compelled to tell us ‘what’ they do, without first explaining ‘why’ they do it. Part of the design process is first understanding the need (the why) before focusing on the outcome (the what). An organization’s ‘why’, if successful, can inspire employees and customers to buy-in long term, by resonating on a deeper, emotional level. Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ concept has been used to analyse 100 organization’s value propositions across sixteen industries to understand how they are currently communicating their what, how and why. Findings revealed that only 24 per cent of organizations expressed their ‘why’ explicitly compared to the how and what results. This article provides organizations with the tools to better understand their value through an iterative design process, providing an opportunity for organizations to develop their ‘why’ from the inside out. This article explains why the analysis of an organization’s value proposition should be the focus of what should be driving strategy decisions and communicated throughout the organization.
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Keywords: business model; design; innovation; organizational meaning; purpose; strategy; value proposition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication for business leaders, managers, policy-makers, service-providers and design experts. It examines the complex nature of design and design thinking in relation to its effective application to solving real-world problems across commercial and broader societal contexts. It aims to promote cross-disciplinary design research which engages specialist and generalist stakeholders via qualitative, quantitative, visual or applied research methodologies, ultimately leading to tangible implications for current practice or clear direction for future work.
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