Archive for November, 2006
ManagementSpeak: Could you put that in writing for me? Translation: No. This week’s anonymous contributor points out the value of the written word.
Most business writing is bloated, boring, and pointless. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s a grab-bag of mostly easy techniques that can help poor writers improve. Avoid the passive voice. Of all the egregious sins of business writing, the passive voice is the most pervasive, and the most damaging. Sentences like, “A project […]
ManagementSpeak: We need to communicate better. Translation: You need to use smaller words. This week’s anonymous contributor communicates just fine.
Flotsam and jetsam: I owe Dan Quayle an apology. While he said any number of strange things during his career as vice president, he didn’t say, “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” In my defense, I didn’t get the quote off the […]
“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” – former Vice President Dan Quayle
The Anasazi of Chaco Canyon thrived for a thousand years. Their economy depended on wood harvested from the extensive forests that grew in the canyon and the surrounding hillsides. The population grew, they cleared, first the local forests, then an expanding radius. The soil, without trees to hold it in place, eroded. Chaco Canyon became […]
ManagementSpeak: We want to celebrate our success. Translation: Keep the band playing to distract the passengers. I hope you aren’t distracted by this week’s translation.
Jared Diamond’s brilliant Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed analyzes five ancient societies that imploded horribly, attempting to find insights useful for the modern, increasingly interconnected world. Diamond identified five factors that lead to collapse. Always, the unsustainable overuse of environmental resources was one, and the society’s failure to appropriately respond to early […]