Don’t Complicate the Simple, Simplify the Complicated

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Don’t Complicate the Simple, Simplify the Complicated

There are two ways you can complicate the simple, intentionally and unintentionally.

Management consulting firms tend to provide the best examples of how to intentionally complicate things. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so they create new terms and names for concepts and approaches that are already familiar to us.

Did you ever watch the TV series Modern Family, and notice that the character Phil Dunphy sometimes verbally trademarks his wild ideas by actually saying “TM” after each reference to his new tagline or “brand?” That’s part of what we’re talking about here.

This is when firms create new jargon or entirely new languages around concepts that otherwise would be more readily understood using existing language. Beyond communication, certain steps and processes are created that seem to add to the confusion.

They do this to create the impression that because something appears more complicated than it should be, it must be worth more money, so they can charge more. And they do. A lot more.
The final work product is usually packaged and presented in such a way so that with all of that heft and digital slickness, it is presumed that it simply has to be of high value.
Communications decision-makers sometimes like this because it helps them operate from a stronger position with their senior management. Some senior managers only believe advisors if the advice looks expensive.

The problem is that often it is expensive, and if it does not get you or your organization where you need to be, you don’t want to be the one to have to explain to senior management why you spent so much money on something that didn’t help. Read more from Tim O’Brian, APR, here:


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