What’s the greatest thing?


Read that text above. Then without looking back at it write down the answers to the following: (or say out loud, I don’t care)

  1. the name of the inventor of sliced bread?
  2. the name of the brand of bread?
  3. the slogan?

I bet you £5 that you get 2 & 3 correct but not 1. Wonderbread and its slogan are words made to remember. A sticky name.

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread? Nobody knows, as it cant be remembered so it doesn’t really even have a name.

If you can’t talk about it, then people can’t think about it. Annoyingly, if people can’t think about it, they can’t do anything with it.

Now, say “systems thinking”.

You’re saying “Otto Frederick Rohwedder“, not Wonderbread.

A bit systemsy? Otto.
Deming-ish? Otto.
Based on knowledge? Otto.

The “best thing since sliced bread” is sticky, Wonderbread is sticky, “Build strong bodies 12 ways” is sticky.

You have an idea/question/product/service, and you want people to pay attention, understand and act on it?

Before they can, they need to know what it is. Before that, you need to know what it is. You have to find the core of what it is about and why it matters.

You will think there’s loads of reasons why your thing is important so how is it possible to boil it down to just one? It’s not only possible, it’s vital if you want to communicate it to people.

People only hear and remember one thing. Say one thing and you’re saying something. Say three things, you’re saying nothing.
So find the core of your thing, the one thing about it you could put into 140 characters and tweet. That’s your one thing. Don’t add any more as adding is diluting. Think subtract instead.

Here is a photo of what I’m about to have for lunch. What’s it’s core? Clue: it’s printed on the packet and it’s the reason I am cooking them right now.


Still unsure? Here are some core messages, not glib, just true and very sticky.




This entry was posted in communication, systems thinking, thinking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What’s the greatest thing?

  1. Pingback: How to write a report (part one) | thinkpurpose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s