|IF YOU DONT SAY WHAT YOU WANT,|
|YOU PROBABLY WONT GET IT.|
This statement sounds obvious enough, but the corollaries branch out into most
areas of communication. There are two halves to the law. The first part deals with
communicating your desires or the requirements of your organization to others.
1. If you cant state
clearly what you want, the results will be partial or
A fuzzy specification requires extra hours of interpretation and usually results in
If you havent figured out exactly what you want,
you may not recognize the result
as being what you needed. This is the flip side of corollary #1: You, as the
contractor, may understand the objectives of the project better than your clients do.
Now that youve delivered, you cannot convince them that the work has been
accomplished to specification.
If you state exactly what you want in writing, and your
subordinate cannot read,
then you will get results which conform to the current folklore on the factory floor.
Manufacturing instructions and quality control procedures are particularly vulnerable
to this one.
If you state your needs clearly to the wrong person, the
right person will not act to
get you what you need. Not understanding the organizational structure can render
the best instructions useless.
If you are too busy to explain exactly what you want, you
depend on your subordinates
telepathic powers for successful execution of your instructions.
Verbal communication does not work at several removes.
If you speak with the first
shift supervisor and tell her what needs to be done overnight, you cannot realistically
expect to see your desired results next morning when third shift is streaming out the
door into the sunshine.
If you express the companys short-term objectives
in the form of a culture change,
the changed behavior will persist long after its usefulness has passed.
8. Youre ready to write this one and probably another ten. January 8, 1999