Why do companies have such a hard time talking like real people? I mean what are companies but groups of people with the same values working together towards a common purpose?
Slow Loss of Power
The use of electricity as a power source has always fascinated me. The fact that electricity can be generated in a vast number processes and that it is an extremely versatile form of energy, has led to it becoming the backbone form of energy for modern society.
That’s not to say that electricity doesn’t have it’s problems. One of the biggest problems energy companies face with electricity is transferring it. They have found that as electricity travels, it slowly loses its power. So the farther electricity has to travel, the more power it loses.
That’s why windmill farms haven’t created the infinite supply of electricity that many thought they would. Because the areas with the most wind, in the US anyways, are many miles from major cities. So a large majority of the power generated by these windmills is lost in transition.
The Slide Through Company Pipes
Our challenges with electricity and the challenges that companies face in regards to communication are much the same.
Most forms of communication start out with the best of intentions, but as they are passed through the company pipes they start to lose something. As communication is filtered through the corporate bureaucracy, company standards and compliance slowly chip away at the humanistic traits. By the time communication finally makes it out the door and reaches the major city, it often resembles something written by a computer as opposed to a real person.
This is how we end up with credit card documents that are 4 pages long, and return policy printouts on the back of 2-foot long receipts.
This is the point in the post where a good blogger would change the pace and start to offer solutions for humanizing company communications.
But I’m not your average blogger and I don’t think this is a topic that can be tackled in one concise post. So I’m not even going to try. Instead, I’m going to turn this idea into an ongoing log, and what I hope will become an ongoing discussion.
Consider this the flagship post for a new series I’m calling Human Talk, and a point of topical reference for all posts yet to come. There are endless examples of the good and bad of company communications, and I am going to bring you a new one each week!