In praise of brevity

Probably the biggest insight guiding the 55-minute guide series is that busy executives will gladly pay for brevity.

Too many business books start with the false premise that providing meaningful insight requires exhaustive (and frequently exhausting) levels of detail. They demand a huge investment from readers to wade through all the information provided and draw out what is relevant to them. In a rapidly changing, time-starved world, that’s an approach that’s getting wronger and wronger.

I’ve just been watching the 10 o’clock news on the Beeb, and if anyone needed proof that you don’t need a lot of words to pack a serious punch, then they need look no further than Elizabeth Wilmshurst’s testimony to the Chilcot Inquiry today, looking into the legality of the war in Iraq.

When asked by Sir John Chilcot if it made any difference to the decision that home secretary, Jack Straw, was himself a lawyer, her response was all the more withering for its brevity – and it earned her a round of applause from the gallery:

“He’s not an international lawyer,” she said.

OUCH!

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