Clear and obvious – or effective?

In the old industrial world you would look for the linear connections. If I do this, I will have that result. You would set a goal and then set up a linear process and work with determination towards that goal.

Same thing in communication. You would define what you do and then formulate how you do it, in order to convince people. It’s easy to think that being direct and obvious is the best way to communicate, but is it really?

In advertising one realised a long time ago that in order to motivate, create interest, and thus reach people with your message you need to communicate more indirectly. Metaphors, irony, understatements… And mixing verbal communication that talks to your left brain, and images that talks to your right…

What’s interesting is that in other areas, which also rely on good communication, the approach is rather to be linear and obvious. Enormous amounts of ”communication” are produced, with the ambition to be as clear and obvious as possible. But until someone actually takes part in your message it’s not communication, just sending.

There’s room for sensemaking in so many areas still. But when you want to involve people, think a minute about how you package the message and involve those you wish to talk to and communicate with.

See also this.

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  2. Apr 15, 2010: The golden circle – an new approach : Olle Torgny – From form to sense

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