The communication bandwidth of your business often creates unintentional blind spots where what's occluded becomes more important than what is included.
Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

Communication is about information. Namely, how much you can get ‘out there’ the moment it’s needed most so a decision can be made. It is logical then to want to get ‘out there’ as much information as possible as quickly as possible. In a purchase-decision-maker environment this is what Google calls “The Zero Moment Of Truth” (ZEMOT for short). 

It is reasonable therefore to want to increase the capacity of any communication channel you’re using to the max. But, maxing a channel’s information out poses an inherent problem that is only understood when we hark back to Claude Shannon’s groundbreaking and still brilliant paper that became the backbone of Information Theory as a subject: A Mathematical Theory Of Communication.

In it, Shannon, explains that the viability of any messaging channel exists in the trade-off between bandwidth (or capacity) and noise. Some of that noise is inherent, like static introduced in an analogue television signal, for instance, but some is created out of the communication itself. To give you a crass example, suppose I have just 60 seconds to get all the critical information you need in order to buy one of my books. Suppose, also, that under pressure I mentally stutter and add lots of “erms” and “like” in my speech. These words are just noise. If in a 250 word sentence (which is how many words I can read in a minute), under normal conditions I introduce just 10 instances of such noise words, you will probably barely notice it, but if working under pressure to maybe add another few words in my communication or deliver difficult concepts with unfamiliar to me words, I now add 25 – 30 instances of my mental stutter not only will you notice but I will have succeeded in making you question whether I know what I’m talking about at all.

This is what’s known as The Shannon Limit in communication. The point at which the effort to get information under there counteracts the effect it tries to achieve. Call it, trying too hard when it’s intentional. Many times however, like in my crass example above, it is unintentional and that’s when it becomes a sunglasses moment in your communication strategy.   

Such moments are not just conventional bottlenecks that stifle the amount of information you can get out, they’re true blindspots where the communication itself becomes the issue and we, often, fail to see it. Tellingly we fail to understand that what is unintentionally occluded suddenly becomes a stronger signal than what has been intentionally included. 

 

###

Go Deeper: 

Intentional book by David Amerland The Sniper Mind by David Amerland
Take Control Of Your Actions.    Make Better Decisions.