I was listening to a presentation from Ari Weinzweig, CEO/Co-founder of Zingerman’s. You know Zingerman’s…named “The Coolest Small Company in America” by Inc Magazine. He was talking about keeping co-workers “tuned in” and part of the program. He was tossing out numbers like “Only 37% of employees know the company’s mission”, “Only 20% of employees know the goal/direction of the company”, “Only 20% of employees know how their position fits within the scheme of the company” and a few other tidbits. When you hear this in a presentation…It sounds a little discouraging, and you shrug it off. Then, he used a different analogy. He started talking football! He put it something like this: “So, there are 11 players on your football team. You get out on the field, ready to play the game, and you find that:
37%, that’s 4 of your players, are the only ones that understand the game.
20%, that’s 2 of your players, know which goal line you are headed for.
20%, that’s 2 of your players, know what position they play and what they are supposed to do.”
It’s a whole new, and more tangible, appreciation for what exactly is being said.
Benziger Winery had a very difficult decision to make in August of this year. After a very cool summer the grapes were not at the advanced state of maturation, as desired. A decision was made by Mike Benziger; Winegrower, General Manager and Winemaker at Benziger. He resorted to a “drastic action”, in his words. They trimmed the tips off the plants and cut off approximately 50% of the fruit (grapes) to speed up the ripening process. (See video) My heart was breaking right along with his.
Now, it’s one thing to read the story about steps and procedures that are taken. You get the idea that 50-60% of the grapes are just cut off and going to waste. But…when you watch the video…you can “see” the difficult decision that was made, purely on the face of this real man. You can “feel” his pain and anguish, over these measures, as he describes what is to be done…and why.
What I’m saying here: as good as your writing may be, as good a picture that you draw with words, as great as you may be at showing action with your words…being able to feel a picture/video really brings all thoughts and emotions to the forefront. Putting numbers or figures into something that people can relate too, or that is relevant to them, takes it from seeing to understanding.
Take that extra step…if you really want to get your point across!