It’s Not Rocket Surgery

Warning: this is a post filled with cliches. The first is the title, a mash-up of two cliches I always find funny.

The second is this: a keen sense of the obvious. When people ask, and sometimes when they don’t, I’m proud to say that I possess a keen sense of the obvious, and that’s why I’m so good at my job. Occasionally the phrase comes out of my mouth after I’ve just stated something incredibly obvious. Doh!

So I was heartened to read this blog post by Jeff Jones, formerly of Leo Burnett, now CMO at Target, on the importance of stating the obvious. He references a book that has guided him for years, given to him by another Burnetter, Steffan Postaer. That book, Obvious Adams, was originally published in 1916.

Jeff says,

The book’s takeaway is that ideas we sometime deride as “obvious” can have enormous power….This simple insight has guided me throughout my career and it is a big reason I’ve come to value transparency, humility, and authenticity. They weren’t well-worn buzzwords when the book was published, but they’re important traits for anyone looking to make a difference today.

Lovely. I truly believe that when looking for answers and insight, sometimes the obvious – the authentic and basic and clearly real – is often all we need. I feel good when my insights are helpful to clients, and feel real, even when they’re so obvious, one wonders why anyone needed to do research or pay me to help find them.


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