Offensive Productivity

24 Jan 2020 12:11 AM | John Heap (Administrator)

I was browsing the web recently when a headline “Offensive Productivity” caught my eye. It was an article relating to an American sports team and was bemoaning the performance of the attacking members if the team (the offence).


Now, here in the UK, we don’t use productivity in relation to the performance of sports teams. (I’m not sure what the metrics would be).  


So, why am I mentioning this?


It just reminded me of that old aphorism .. Britain and America are 2 countries divided by a common language .... but the real reminder is that some language - indeed some concepts - do not travel well across national - or cultural - borders, 


Those working in lands other than their native land do well to remember this and those offering books, blogs, tweets, etc to an international audience should also remember that some parts of their messages might be misinterpreted.


Re-read what you write, putting yourself, as far as you can, in the mind frame of target readers - or perhaps simply casual observers. Try to spot obvious - and less obvious - sources of confusion or misunderstanding - jargon, local references, slang, etc.


Make your productivity - and other - pronouncements culturally neutral and certainly try to ensure you are avoiding ‘ offensive productivity’.


Of course, if you ever find my messages offensive, please give me the benefit of the doubt. Offence was not intended.


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