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Simple rules of communication in organizations

Simplicity is a world-beater

There is a wonderful cartoon about computer interfaces doing the rounds contrasting the simplicity of Apple and Google with the interfaces most of us construct.

Simple rules of communication

That reminded me of a place I worked at for many years, which had inherited three simple rules of communication.

FIRST. Write down what you want on ONE side of a piece of paper – no more. And the top third of the side will be used for routing instructions – you don’t get more paper for that.

SECOND. Send it to me in time for me to read it before we meet.

THIRD. When we meet, explain what you want fom me verbally or through your emissary.

What I will do

If I cannot understand what you want in one minute, with a further one minute for questions, I ask you very courteously whether “you would like to withdraw your paper”.

It is possible to keep things simple!

PS The accountants had another simple rule. On no account, ever, will we approve expenditure retrospectively. Decisions occur before actions.

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