Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Art of Blowing Smoke

What are you excited about? Me? Motorcycles for one. But lets talk about "smoke" and how to determine if someone is adding value to a given dialog, or, as we say, simply blowing smoke. My approach is very elementary. First, how do I know the speaker? Did I find them on twitter? Did everyone see Ashton Kutcher blast past 1,000,000 followers? Amazing. Or maybe on LinkedIn? I personally have over 1300 "followers" on twitter, but after a lot more years, only 300 direct "connections" on LinkedIn. Or perhaps, one of my friends brought them to my attention. It matters. Second, trust I was talking with Lean practitioner Harry Wood yesterday. We somehow jumped to Toyota's application of Lean and the fact that their secret weapon is the culture. And therefore, the trust factor that most American companies will never understand. Third, the topic Finally, the heart of the matter. The subject matter. I was reading (again) Seth Godin's Purple Cow this morning (and for the last few days), and the concept of "remarkable" was once again playing out in my mind's eye. And the realization of how little (dare I say, unremarkable?) most communiques really convey. Fourth, passion Give me someone passionate about life and their adventure, and I am all ears! My "BS detector" falls off into sleep mode, and my attention is focused like a laser. May I suggest that most of us share this approach? Guess I just did! Conclusion After the fact, I will explore the validity of any claims. Spend a few seconds (or minutes, or in the case of Lean, a life time) exploring the ramifications. Often along the lines of, "What if this person is correct?" Ever wonder why so few of us take global warming seriously? Consider poster boy Al Gore and his message
  1. How do I know him?
  2. Do I trust him?
  3. What do I know about the topic from other sources?
  4. Is he passionate?
See my problem with global warming? Only on the last item (one of out four) does Al Gore score a victory with most Americans. Hard to take a message seriously when the spokesperson is such a clown. And no, the irony of sharing this message via the very internet that Al Gore invented is not wasted on me. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey P.S. Also, lets not forget that a lot of folks up north shoveled a lot of "global warming" this past winter! ©2009 LLC. All rights reserved.
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