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

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