One of the more enjoyable things about running a national business is the opportunity I have to travel around the country. Travel really does broaden the mind. You move out of your normal environment and leave your comfort zone. It gives you a chance to see how other people do things…and how so often they do the same thing totally differently.
I find that when I return from a convention or visiting customers in faraway places, I have new ideas and a new way of looking at the same old things. Sometimes the ideas are good, sometimes not, but it always gives me ideas to investigate about how we might do things better.
Sometimes I see things that get me thinking not just about improving some small thing but about how to run the whole business better. It’s great to find ways to improve our already high quality walls and related products, but even better when I find ways to improve the entire business…which, of course, leads to even better results for our customers.
On a recent trip I noticed this sign in a restaurant:
When I first noticed it I was amused. I wondered what the odds are of finding a good piano player who also happens to be good at opening clams. Beyond that, what are the odds of finding a good piano player who wants to open clams?
Then I took a close look at the wording of the sign and realized it doesn’t actually say they want a piano player to open clams, just a piano player with knowledge of opening clams. Quite a different thing.
This got me thinking about language and how I use it, am I clear or confusing? Since the sign was about a job opening, I wondered how clearly we post job openings. One thought led to another and soon I was thinking about the wide implication of clarity in language and its impact on quality and accurate understanding of customer requirements.
How about our communication in general, written as well as spoken? Are some of the things that don’t seem to go as planned because the communication about them was poorly worded? How clear are our procedures, advertisements, emails, specifications?
If we’re unclear or ambiguous in our language, probably our customers and prospects, vendors and contractors, and others we deal with have the same problem. Lack of clarity everywhere.
Not a happy thought. But a very useful thought as it has led me to look at Transwall communication with a more critical eye. I’m working to ensure everything we say means exactly what we intend it to mean. It also has me making sure right at the beginning we fully understand what we hear from those who communicate with us…like customers and prospects.
We’re already the best at what we do – walls. With our new understanding about ensuring absolute clarity in all our communication, we’re expecting to get even better.
As for that restaurant in need of music and kitchen help, I keep wondering if they would rather have a mediocre piano player who is great at opening clams or a great piano player who eventually manages to expose the meat inside the shell.
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