In his TED Talk, “Start with Why — how great leaders inspire action,” Simon Sinek proposes a three-step process of Why, How, and What for communicating a product or idea. Here’s my application of Sinek’s model to my innovation plan.

  • Why: We believe that all students have the ability to learn and that we can help them succeed.
  • How: We can help students succeed by providing resources to self-remediate instead of blocking them with developmental classes.
  • What: We help students start college classes sooner so they can complete their program of study.

Starting with the shared belief that our college exists to help students learn and succeed draws on why teachers started teaching in the first place. They really want students to succeed and far more rewarding than the paycheck is the sense that they’ve been a part of changing someone’s life. Starting from there will make an emotional connection with my stakeholders; then, pointing to the fact that developmental education often blocks rather than helping the student succeed will help to create the sense of urgency Kotter refers to and which is so vitally important to creating change in the college.


Dr. John Kotter. (n.d.). Leading Change: Establish a Sense of Urgency. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yfrj2Y9IlI
TEDx Talks. (2009, September 28). Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&feature=youtu.be