The golden circle is this idea that most companies start with the what "we have widgets", move to the how "we make our widgets with superior features", then skim over the why "you should buy them". According to Simon, starting with the "why" and moving to "what" will deliver superior results every time. Appealing to your customers' beliefs then explaining the product benefits encourages them to rationalize the purchase for themselves.
John and Matt emphasized storytelling, and the idea that design is a conversation. What is the story of your organization, and how should you tell it? You should communicate in terms of identity and who your customers want to be.