Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An ancient battle has ended!

This battle has been going on for eons. It was most often fought in the corridors of academia but it's no longer got heat. It's over and to continue the resistance is futile. Small guerilla groups will continue to skirmish in small pockets holding out for the way things were in the bad old days. They are like warmongers, only happy and profiting if the conflict is still alive.

I am talking about the war between Method and Message. Which is more important? Something to say or a better way of saying it? The battle's over, finished, done! You can't have one without the other any more. See Barack Obama or Hans Rosling (www.ted.com)

There are casualties on both sides. On the Message side there are those who believe that what you say is what matters. Great content, rigorous thinking, solid evidence. On the method side, those who package thoughts of others and push them out. Great technique and packaging.

To take sides now is to doom yourself in the sharing of great ideas. You need both. You need your Cicero messages and Caesar charm.

Here's to world peace!

Three previously won battles:
  1. Form versus Function - completed; agreed to share the victory.
  2. The war for talent - talent won.
  3. Gen Y engagement - beware… anyone under 25! (just joking)
My next few Skirmishes:
  • The end of team building based on competition or problem solving.
  • Death to 360 degree feedback.
  • The end of email as we know it.
Phew! This war thing is tough. Be a great thinker and a great communicator. Use message AND method. Spend equal parts coming up with great ideas and broadcasting great ideas.

Matt Church


  1. Curious about why death to 360 feedback???

  2. yeah, I think it has always been both, but seem to catergories everybody/ thing in a dualistic way. Another obvious battle I see raging is the big/ little picture battle. People label themselves as big picture/ visionaries, or small picture detail people. It is not good enough to just see the big picture (forest) because you have to implement and deal with the detail (trees) and vice versa. Both skills are necessary. We need to develop our whole brain for holistic thinking!

  3. Brillant as usual!

    Just to reinforce fionag why the death of 360 feedback?

  4. I wonder if message and method together are enough? I have to be convinced by the sincerity of the speaker before I am engaged by the message and/or the method. I suppose you might say that is about the message, but some people can convey strong messages but somehow they don't seem authentic so I am less inclined to believe them.

  5. Not sure about feedback... agree if you are referring to the anonymous 360degree kind. But you could be missing a real opportunity if you ignore all feedback.

  6. Hi Matt, I saw you talk about this topic and others at TEDx in Sydney.... very good indeed.

    Thomas - myhelper