Management is fundamentally an oral culture and analytics a literate one

Great stuff from my old pal Jim McGee: Bridging managerial and analytic cultures, part 1 and part 2.

From part the first:

Technology professionals have long struggled with getting a complex message across to management. In our honest and unguarded moments, we talk of "dumbing it down for the suits." But the challenge is more subtle than that. We need to repackage the argument to work within the frame of oral thought.

And second:

In addition to helping the analytically biased see the value of creating a compelling story, you need to help them see how and why story works differently than analysis. The best stories to drive change are not complex, literary, novels. They are epic poetry; tapping into archetypes and cliché, acknowledging tradition, grounded in the particular.

…which, of course, is why personalized examples work so well. (And work so badly when not connected to a logical argument or important point.)

In other words – there should be plenty of work for all those laid-off journalists in companies, trying to find le mot juste that will transform the numbingly complex into the directionally intuitive.

Read the whole thing – if nothing else, for the language.

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