Question the status quo.
Sometimes you — or your clients — live within the four walls of a house.
You speak the same language and jargon.
You see things the same way.
You may not realize how people outside your house view what’s going on inside.
That’s where communications professionals and consultants come in.
We bring an outsider’s perspective and observe the situation in a new way.
We translate what clients are saying and doing inside their house on behalf of people outside those four walls.
We share it, focusing on the benefit to others.
We tell the people inside the house what the folks outside it are thinking and saying.
We open the doors and windows and bring in fresh air.
Watch out for We’ve always done it this way thinking.
A Halloween festival was held in late October each year. Children trick-or-treated door to door and received snacks. There were old fashioned games, like bobbing for apples in a barrel and nibbling apples suspended from tree branches on long strings.
The fun of this event was threatened by its own success. In the excitement to participate, pre-school age children were being bumped and trampled by their older siblings.
To promote visitor safety, I proposed the event be scheduled in two shifts. Children under age five would attend from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. School-age students would arrive at 4:00 pm. During the break, staff would re-stage the activities and replenish the food that had been consumed by the attendees.
This approach was very successful. Not only was it safer for the smaller children, the two shifts generated even greater visitor attendance! That additional revenue more than covered the cost of the extra snacks and increased staff time.
Look around your own house, or the house of your client, and ask Why have we always done it this way? Is this the best way?
Consider inviting someone with a new or outsider’s perspective to peer into the house and share their observations.
This Month’s Tip
Are you doing things the way they have always been done? Take a closer look at the rationale for following the ways of the past using the five W’s:
- Who said this is the way to do it? (Perhaps it was someone who’s long gone.)
- What will happen if it’s done differently — or not at all?
- When must a change be made? (Is there a deadline?)
- Where can you gather support (buy-in or funding) to make a change?
- Why will a new way be better?
Take a fresh look at what’s going on in your house. Contact me at Janet@JanetLFalk.com or call me at 212.677.5770. Together we’ll open the doors and windows with a new perspective.
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