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In Search of Brevity

In Search of Brevity

Not just in advertising or sound bites. Brevity in conversations, emails, and in strategic documents is a worthy challenge, with potentially powerful business results. Brevity forces being succinct. Succinct statements can be helpful in many situations, even repeatedly.

A close colleague of mine has little patience, and shorter conversations, with more people and with more success than most. He's a freakin' machine, good natured, smart, and a machine. I now know to jot down points to discuss before reaching out to him, then we connect, decide, and move on. We do this repeatedly and make lots of good decisions, with phenomenal results. The fact we work in different states seems to help our communication be that much more efficient and effective.

Recently we needed to agree on direction for the next six months, in interdependent areas like marketing, sourcing, sales, operations, etc. Not topics that lend themselves to simple yes/no answers. More like topics that managers conduct two-day offsite meetings to resolve. Focused on the need for brevity, I wrote a one (1) page document (truly a “brief”), and sent it to him a day before I asked to talk to him. It contained four (4) topics:

    • Successes – top 3
    • Challenges – top 3
    • Last 6 months – issues we addressed
    • Next 6 months – issues to be addressed

The outcome was powerful – right away we agreed even on contentious and touchy issues, and our discussion focused on how we could best address them and succeed. 28 minutes later, we were ready to move on. Ready for the business of marketing, sourcing, developing, buying and selling more in the exhilerating climb to build a new business.  

Keep it short and to the point.

3 comments (Add your own)

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