Do you walk the walk, or talk the talk? You can’t do both, so which is the most effective for your business?
An interesting perspective from ‘Yes, Minister’ helps us to open our eyes to a hidden corporate culture. In the initial chapter, we are introduced to the Open Government white paper. This document provides proof that they intend to help the minister implement his stated policy goals. However, as times goes on it is revealed that this document is actually a prime example of the Law of Inverse Relevance.
“The less you intend to do about something,
the more you have to keep talking about it.”
Understanding the Law of Inverse Relevance, might seem far away from what you considered the business environment to be like. However, once you surpass the confusion, it all become clears.
For example, you are scouring through a global conglomerates website and come across their well scripted mission statement. In relation to the Law of Inverse Relevance, this statement is merely a piece of text that they want people to believe that represents their company and what they do. However this representation isn’t what they’re actually doing. Simply writing a good quality mission statement isn’t enough – don’t just talk the talk.
This law provides explanation of why you are more likely to get ripped off at “Honest Harry’s Hardware Store” than a basic hardware shop. Another good example is an MD stating that his workforce is “one big happy family” when the reality is it is a group of dissatisfied, unhappy workers. The Law of Inverse Relevance also explain why companies employ Ethics Officers, Diversity Policies, CSR and Environmental Standards departments. It is a purely for perception.
But don’t panic, all this talk is actually saving you money! Because it’s keeping you from getting things done.
This law has brought to light some interesting revelations, including:
Some of the most successful businesses don’t have mission statements, because they know what they are aiming for.
The top innovative businesses rely on their customers to decide whether their new products are good.
Socially responsible businesses act responsibly from personal interest rather than for a good perceived reputation.
The best leaders portray great leadership rather than spending time and effort claiming to be excellent leaders.
The principle is simple you either “talk the talk” or you “walk the walk.”