A recent leader of mine used a similar expression. Upon reflection, it offers tremendous value. Upon initial glance, however, it could leave you scratching your head.
The catalyst for my post today was this article – The Power of Precision. And while the context pertains to editing/writing, there is applicability with how we as Product Management leaders need to strategically communicate. An example:
Their prose is
nothing short of amazing. It’s economical, to the point and most of all, clear. This concise crafting of copy is a joy to read, it instills confidence in the reader not just by being useful, but by also managing to communicating the primary benefit and message in a very short period of time.
Admittedly, it’s not an easy lesson to grasp. Starting from a place where you don’t have enough data/content to support your premise is not advantageous. Over the course of my career I have experienced this with peers, colleagues, etc who didn’t do their homework, couldn’t answer the questions, and therefore couldn’t substantiate their point.
My tendency is toward the other end of the spectrum, starting from a place of thoroughness. But having too much content can be overwhelming and prevent the audience from grasping your point. Many executives will never take the time to get through the details … not out of a lack of desire, but out of a lack of time.
And that specific point … lack of time … is the essence of the title to this post. It is what often prevents many of us from taking the last step to a final, effective product. I know what you are already thinking … I spent a lot of time pulling together all of the content/slides, I’m not sure I can spend more time to get it shorter. All of it is important. Yes, all of it is important, and having the details as backup may be critical if/when you are challenged. But lots of content/data/slides does not translate to effectiveness.
Take my word for it, you can’t afford not to take the time to process, distill and refine further. Doing so will force you to challenge every point, every thought until the result is a message succinctly delivered in fewer words/slides.