I have found in business that when we keep things simple; using plain English, clients can better understand how to apply the ideas to their business.
I was with a client last week who had been asked to write a business plan by their bank. When I asked the client why they have to do this they couldn’t tell me but showed me a complex template they needed to complete that clearly wasn’t going to be useful for them in the longer term in business but was just a ‘tick box’ exercise for the bank. On a score of 1 to 10, how useful is this? 1?
As opposed to sounding smart by using MBA language that no one understands, sometimes by going back to basics we get a wider understanding and buy in.
Let’s use an example: Business Strategy
I googled this and Wikipedia’s definition is ‘Business strategy is a field that deals with the major intended and emergent initiatives taken by general managers on behalf of owners, involving utilization of resources, to enhance the performance of firms in their external environments’
Wow I am already confused! Does that motivate me to want to go further? No. Imagine, as a business coach, if I used that type of language with a client? I might sound smart but I wouldn’t last long!
When I explain what Business Strategy is to a client I simply explain it as ‘everything that you do in your business that helps you earn money in the future’ (or Revenue is ‘money today’ and Strategy is ‘money tomorrow’). Now does that make more sense?
These simple and clear definitions help clients understand what strategy means and therefore how they should spend their time when doing ‘strategy work’. It becomes much easier for a client to list the type of activities that falls within this category and allocate sufficient time to do them – rather than shy away from business strategy because it sounds too complicated.
The moral of this story is that if we keep our language simple in business, we create better understanding, a common language and a focused, aligned and motivated workforce. So do you apply this when developing your marketing messages and all other external communications? Let me know what you think and don’t forget you can download a range of useful whitepapers by clicking here