Wednesday, February 20, 2013


It is really hard to describe what I do, either now particularly or more generally over the last few years.

Somehow or other it boils down to being something about communications - at least I find I hang out with a lot of communication people now.  That includes both those who are crafted a message and those who are trying to report it.

In a conversation with one such person last night we were discussing a common issue of how people charged with "doing something" - be it informing a community, formulating a policy or organising a workplace - think of "communications" as the piece at the end of the process.  Kind of like that stage in the car production line where the paint is sprayed on.

But really that's like thinking that what the car looks like is determined by the coat of paint, rather than all the elements of styling including the trim.  And the styling itself is part of the design of the performance of the car - be that the old "safe but boxy" of Volvo's of old, the modern SUV, the family sedan or the sleek sports car.

If we think about how we get anything done in this world it is by our ability to influence others.  Communication is the core activity of achieving that.

It probably doesn't help that all those not actively engaged in communications think in terms of the sender-receiver, message-medium model.

To be truly successful communication needs to be an integral part of the design, not just a decoration at the end.

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