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Dave’s blog

Let’s Not Make a Difference

Let’s Not Make a Difference 

I had a writing teacher in 6th grade who gave me a D on a paper I’d thought was great.  Her admonition: “show the reader what’s in your mind.”  It’s true: what I’d written was perfectly clear to only one person – me.    

That lesson has stuck with me and when I hear the tagline of so many companies, “(blank) that makes a difference,” I shake my head.  “Software that makes a difference.”    “Your support makes a difference,” “Our people make the difference.” “HR that makes a Difference” (that one is trademarked by Insperity).  These feel good to the creators and mean nothing to the audience.  

If a product or service makes a difference, WHAT is that difference?   

Writing this post has me reconsidering some of the statements I’ve been making.  For example: “Colorado’s a special place for business.” What does that mean?  This has been a useful exercise, and my answer: “In Colorado, the leaders of many companies share their team members’ choice to have a life enabled by work, not consumed by it.”  

Do you think this post makes a difference?  I hope that it encourages readers to articulate specifics about what they really want to articulate.  Then it will have made a difference. 

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