Thursday, June 17, 2010

What is your "Why"

Finding Inspiration in TED Talks
At Penn State Outreach we gather on Fridays over lunch for TED Talks, videos of “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.”

TED Talks are great for getting the brain juices flowing. Our latest one by Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why,” has my brain juices absolutely gushing.

Asking Why
You really have to hear this talk in his words. He is an amazing speaker, but the gist is “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Unfortunately most people can tell you what they do, some how they do it, but very few of us can convey why we do it. Once you unlock the “why” amazing things happen.

The talk got me thinking about my current assignment. My team is working on a major update for our online course portfolio. I was writing fresh copy for the “about us” page when I saw Sinek’s talk.

Typically we start “about” pages with “who we are” and “what we do.” Now I have a new option. “Why.” “Why do we offer courses that students can take from anywhere in the world?”

Your Thoughts
I’d love to know what you think about the approach of putting “why,” before “what,” or “how.” Go watch the video. It’s about 18 minutes long, and oh so worth it. Then come back here and let me know what you think.

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