We’ve been helping a few organisations with knowledge strategies lately and discovered the power of knowledge strategy tag lines. This idea first came to us while we were working on trust in one of the large Australian banks. They’d done a traditional mission, vision, values exercise (which are normally ineffective) but one of the values kept popping up in the meetings: “tell it like it is, no spin.” Whenever someone was pussy-footing around a topic someone would invariably blurt out this line and more often than not the pussy-footer would become forthright. We never heard the other values mentioned and when asked, people only seemed to remember this one. Colloquial language seem to be an important part of its effectiveness.
The relationship to knowledge strategies was drawn for me by Mark Bennett over at Rio Tinto. Mark was saying that he liked the tag line “Making collaboration ridiculously easy” and on hearing this I knew it had the same appeal as “tell like it is, no spin.” Whenever someone is faced with a difficult collaboration situation I can imagine people saying, “Come on, we need to make collaboration ridiculously easy not the bloody mess it is now!” (this is how an Aussie would say it and a little profanity ups the intensity).
Here are a couple of other knowledge-related tag lines I’ve heard which can be used but lack the punch of the previous examples:
- connect people to people, people to communities, people to information, and people to good practices (APQC?)
- find it and use it, find it and adapt it, build it yourself (Learning to Fly?)
- hire smart people and let them talk (Larry Prusak)
- notice, understand and act (based on Karl Weick)
Are you aware of other good knowledge strategy tag lines or would like to share your own creations? Love to hear them.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: