Regular readers will know that I bang on about the importance of keeping your messages simple when you want others to really get it. It seems to me we attempt to make things ever more complex and potentially confusing. Take the recent fiscal cliff fiasco in the USA; managing an economy is not a simple business, and therefore helping your people understand the realities can be difficult. Really? Of course, it may be that different motives drive people to add complexity to their messages.
I follow a financial bulletin board and saw this great post from a fellow user called Orslega.
Fiscal Cliff explained……
U.S. Tax Revenue: Â£2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget: Â£3,820,000,000,000
New Debt: Â£1,650,000,000,000
National Debt: Â£14,271,000,000,000
Recent Budget cuts: Â£38,500,000,000
Letâ€™s now remove 8 zeros and pretend itâ€™s a household budget:
Annual family income: Â£21,700
Money the family spent: Â£38,200
New debt on the credit card:Â£16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: Â£142,710
Total budget cuts so far: Â£385
Got it?â€¦. OK nowâ€¦
Hereâ€™s another way of looking at the Debt Ceiling:
Letâ€™s say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your streetâ€¦ and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you think you should do? Raise the ceiling or remove the sewage?
Your message makes so much more sense when it is simply compared to something that you already understand.