Leading Blog






10.15.08

Communication: Keep it Simple

Procter & Gamble Chief Executive A. G. Lafley believes that simplicity is the key to good communication. He told the U.S. News and World Report:
Repeat after me. If that sounds simplistic, Lafley is the first to admit that it is. Yet in a company where more than half the employees don't speak English as their first language, he says his Sesame Street- simple slogans, repeated over and over, keep everyone trained on what's important. Human beings "don't want to stay focused," he says. "So my job is to get them to focus their creativity around the focus; focus their productivity around the focus; focus their efficiency or effectiveness around the focus." Insecure leaders create complexity. Simple, direct language keeps people tuned in to what's important. Simple communication doesn’t come from a simple mind. It comes from tough-minded clarity of thought.
Jack Trout, a promoter of simplicity, suggests in his book The Power of Simplicity, that these famous adages wouldn’t be so famous if they had been written with a heavier hand and fancier words:

• Pulchritude possesses profundity of a merely cutaneous nature.
(Beauty is only skin deep.)

• It is not efficacious to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
(You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.)

• Visible vapors that issue from carbonaceous materials are a harbinger of imminent conflagration.
(Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.)

• A revolving mass of lithic conglomerates does not accumulate a congery of small green bryophitic plants.
(A rolling stone gathers no moss.)

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:57 PM
| Comments (0) | Communication



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