Mar 25, 2012

Book review: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

This time I read book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 18, 2012

Why there is so much Business Jargon?

I'm nowadays working in business to business environment. There, even more than b2c, everything is said with business jargon. It seems to be much better to say things with terms that doesn't really mean anything or are hard to understand. I keep on wondering , what is the point of that?

I define business jargon as explaining things more complicated than what they really are. For example email could be defined in business jargon as rich multi point communication platform enabling visual messaging between small or large groups. And camera would be a small carryable technical device, with possibilities on capturing thousand of moments to visual images anywhere in the world.

I hope you understand what I mean with business jargon with those examples It's hard to pick examples without embarrassing anyone, but the main point is that business jargon is saying easy things in really complex ways. If you want to check some examples there are many companies creating services or products in b2b sector that have some level of business jargon visible in their website.

I honestly don't understand it. Why couldn't things be said as those are. The same happens often in b2c business also. Take the mobile world as an example. Everybody is talking about, that there will LTE or 4G in this and that device. What they should say, there's going to be 10 times faster network speed on those devices. For normal people LTE doesn't mean anything.

Companies are often quite bad with communication. I believe one problem is the center of universe effect I blogged few weeks ago. They think that they need to tell every little detail on themselves, rather than focusing on getting the basic message through. Another thing is, that people in an industry get so familiar with their terminology they believe that everyone knows the terminology. That problem is part of business jargon effect. People are using terms that other people don't understand.

I've been doing lot of communication material in my new job at Product Manager at Contribyte. That's the reason communication issues have been in my mind lately. In few weeks we going to release some of the material to public. It will fun to hear and see how well I've managed to tackle the center of universe and business jargon effects. Maybe I have walked to the exact traps I'm saying everyone else does. Maybe that's too common to avoid. I at least know that those effects exists. Let's soon see what people think about those.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 13, 2012

Book Review - Triathletes Training Bible

For a change I read something totally different than the business related books I've read lately. I'm in a transformation process from team sports and games towards endurance sports. So I wanted to go to the master source of endurance training, so I picked up Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. I found so many good recommendations on it, I had to give it a try. And I didn't regret a minute.

Book is about training for triathlon. But it's not only about triathlon as such. It gives so much good basic knowledge about endurance training, nutrition and training planning, that it's an excellent book for anyone. I honestly learned more about endurance training from this book, than I've learned from any other sources counted together.

Big part of the book is creating a training diary. This part is quite specifically for triathlon and duathlon, but you can learn the basics of creating a training plan for any other sports. If you are triathlete or you want to become one, you have to read this book. It has something for everyone. It has tips for the most advanced guys, but also for the novices.

It's hard to say anything bad about this book. Maybe the worst thing is, that it really is like a bible; it's big and heavy. It's convenient to carry with, but there's good justifications for it's big size from pictures and tables in it. It also has lots of pages on it, but I actually felt sorry, that the book ended, not that it had too many pages.

I guess the hardest part of the book is, that it's impossible to take all the things you've learned to in action once. Managing the things presented in this book, easily takes tens of years, maybe a lifetime. It's a book I at least want to own, not borrow. I've made it full of marks on the first reading and I keep on going back and forth it all the time. It's one of the books every endurance athlete should own.
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 5, 2012

Communication flaws - Center of a universe effect

It is really common that companies think that they are much more important than they really are. I've seen it happen almost with every company I've worked with. Companies often think, that everyone is interested on them, tries to find their secrets and their products are the most important in the world. I call this center of a universe effect.

This effect is a real problem with many companies. It can be seen in presentations, websites and basically with any communication. Companies think that their brands and products are in a center of universe and they need to tell every little detail of their doings to everyone. This is where they go wrong. Communication should be focused on basics and delivering the most important aspects, not all the minor details. The few companies, like Apple, who could be said to be in the center of the universe, they seem to still focus on telling only the most important things. Maybe that's their secret.

The same goes with secrecy. Companies tend to use millions of Euros for keeping things secret. That's so funny, since there isn't that many companies who's doings are so important, that exposing those secrets would actually make any difference to anyone. Sure many companies have something they consider competitive advantage and want to keep it secret, but most often they are really exaggerating how interesting their secrets really are.

Companies should learn that they are not in the center of a universe. Communication should start from basics and focus on the basics. Definitely there are company fanboys, that want to learn more than just ordinary people, but communication shouldn't be focusing on them, but on the basics. Even big and well known companies need to focus on telling what their product is for. Too often companies think that everyone already knows them and their products and waste time on communicating details that other end doesn't understand due to lack of basic knowledge.

Center of universe effect is related to business jargon. When these two are put together we get presentations in conferences, articles in web and printed brochures that no one really understands. I'm sure you have read or seen these ones. For example someone can speak for 30 minutes without people understanding a word. The same goes with articles, there can be 20 pages about a subject in a such a strange point of view that no one really understands anything. This would be fine if those would be meant for specific audience, but in many cases those are for potential customers. And if potential customers don't understand what you are saying, you are in trouble.

Anyone who is related to communication or sales inside a company know what I'm talking about. It's so easy to slip on the other side of line, to believe that others know every piece of you. Just remember, you are not the center of the universe.
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen