It’s official. I read it in Harvard Business Review (I always wanted to say that!). Apparently when the wise folk recently surveyed all of the ways that companies mismanage risk, “poor communications” came out as number five! The article goes on to attribute such failure to our current economic mess.
“Communications failures have certainly played a role in the most recent crisis”, quotes HBR. For example, a recent report from the Swiss bank UBS to its shareholders attempted to present its subprime or housing related exposures. Unfortunately, the readers of the report didn’t fully grasp the severity of the situation, in particular because the writing was overly complex… and directed to the wrong audience.
I love it when clarity wins over thick data, long words and complicate phrases. Remember this. Your audience may be very intelligent – or not so. Without a doubt, they are busy people with lots on their minds. If you are presenting a message that matters, such as asking for funding, approving a strategic plan or perhaps outlining serious risk, pay a professional to clearly communicate the message.
It’s value well spent, and it could keep us all out of trouble.
Canadian Association of Women Executives & Entrepreneurs
June 2008-June 2010