The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Speaking Doesn’t Mean Communicating …

A few weeks ago, I got to go to my beloved China.

While I was there, I met someone who gave me another reason to add to the millions of reasons why I miss living – and working – there.


Specifically the analogies people there use to make their point.

Above was was what someone said to me about the challenge facing their organisation.

Concise. Clear. Brutal. Poetic.

In a world of corporate bollocks, a lot of organisations could learn from this … because quite frankly, the bland monotone of their corporate speak might say a lot, but it communicates little.

17 Comments so far
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That’s not as bad as when people have terrible instruments and think they play well.

Comment by Bazza

Yep. So true. And also proving the power of the metaphor. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I like the metaphor but what I like more is their honesty. I dare not imagine the amount of time we would save and the effectiveness we would gain if senior management were able to be self aware and truly honest about their situation.

Comment by George


Comment by Pete

Good point mate.

Doesn’t always happen – culturally there is a lot of talking around the problem rather than at the problem – but where business is concerned, there can be a level of honesty that can sometimes take your breath away. For both good and bad reasons. Ha.

Comment by Rob

That quote pretty much captures how I see white, male privilege.

Comment by Mary Bryant

You go girl.


Comment by Jemma King

I see why.

Comment by Pete

Me too.

Comment by Rob

When I first lived in Singapore I remember how much I enjoyed the metaphors used to describe situations. It allowed management to be honest in a way that was acceptable for the boardroom without undermining the severity of the situation. Very clever.

Quick question for you Rob. How do you feel China is handling the coronavirus and would you still want to be there if you still lived there?

Comment by Pete

You’re right mate. For a part of the world that doesn’t like conflict, it has found effective ways to be effective while still showing respect. Western business seems to have adopted a slightly different approach. Ineffective communication through passive aggressive, politically aware, nothingness.

As for China. Well I think they learnt their lesson from SARS – where they acknowledge they fucked up by trying to keep the whole thing contained and secret. While people can say there are still things they could do better, I think they’ve been pretty amazing – from putting the genetic code out for any scientist around the world to tackle to incubating entire cities … all at a time of incredible significance in the Chinese calendar.

If we were there, I don’t know how we would feel. I would imagine it would make us really have a look at our situation … and while I won’t be going back to China until the virus is under control, I can’t wait to be there again.

Comment by Rob

I agree. They are doing more than I imagine most, if not all, other governments would do. Converting a disused building into a hospital in 2 days and building an entirely new hospital in a week is incredible.

Comment by Pete

The other perspective is that this started in December and local health officials covered it up.

Comment by John

Even if that’s true, they still responded quicker, more openly and more directly than many other governments would. The one thing I can say about China is that it learns from its mistakes. It can also forget those learnings over time, but it doesn’t let bad things continue, especially if it threatens the perception of the country or economy.

Comment by Rob

do the commies fucking pay you to be their pr lacky? dont they know your reputation is even worse than theirs>

Comment by andy@cynic

So says the planner who doesn’t stop talking. Ever.

Comment by DH

doesnt stop talking fucking shit ever.

Comment by andy@cynic

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