Home > Helpful Resources > Does ‘starting with why’ – Simon Sinek – really matter? 

Does ‘starting with why’ – Simon Sinek – really matter? 

The Power of Purpose: How ‘Start with Why’ Drives Agile Success 

In the world of Agile and Scrum, the concept of starting with ‘why’ is pivotal. Simon Sinek’s insightful exploration of this idea demonstrates its crucial role in motivating people and driving success.  

But, what does it mean for an Agile team or a Scrum Master? Let’s dive into this compelling approach to understanding motivation and its impact on Agile practices. 

Understanding Motivation: Beyond the ‘Why’ 

  • 🧭 Exploring ‘Drive’ by Dan Pink: Dan Pink’s ‘Drive’ delves into the intrinsic motivators that spur people into action. It goes beyond the external incentives like salaries or bonuses, focusing on deeper, more personal drivers. 
  • 💡 The Trio of Intrinsic Motivators
  • Autonomy: The desire to direct our own lives. 
  • Mastery: The urge to improve skills and become proficient. 
  • Purpose: The need to do what we feel is meaningful. 

The Pitfalls of Extrinsic Motivation 

  • 💲 The Limitations of Money as a Motivator: While financial incentives can be immediate motivators, they often lose their effectiveness over time, especially when basic needs are met. 
  • 🚀 Shifting Focus to Mastery and Autonomy: Encouraging personal growth and self-direction can lead to more sustained and meaningful engagement in work. 

Integrating Purpose into Agile Practices 

  • 🎯 Vision and Goals in Agile: Aligning the daily tasks of Agile teams with a broader vision ensures that everyone is moving in the same direction towards a shared purpose. 
  • 🌟 The Role of Vision, Value, and Validation: These three elements replace traditional project management metrics, focusing instead on the overarching goal and the steps needed to achieve it. 

The Role of Leadership in Cultivating Purpose 

  • 🌱 Creating a Culture of Purpose: Leaders in Agile environments must foster a culture where the ‘why’ is clear and every team member can connect their work to it. 
  • 🔄 Feedback and Adaptation: Regularly revisiting and adapting the team’s approach based on feedback ensures alignment with the overall purpose. 

Case Studies: Apple’s Visionary Approach 

  • 🍏 Apple’s Success with Purpose: Apple’s alignment of its entire organization towards a common vision and purpose has not only driven internal success but also created a loyal customer base that believes in their journey. 

Conclusion: Embracing ‘Why’ in Agile 

  • 📈 The Agile Advantage of Purpose: In Agile environments, understanding and embracing the ‘why’ leads to more engaged teams, better products, and satisfied customers. 
  • 💬 The Ongoing Journey: The process of defining and following a purpose is an ongoing journey, requiring constant reassessment and realignment.