Last week, one of my radio guests was Jan Sokoloff Harness. In the first half of the show, we talked about creativity and unleashing it in ourselves and in our employees, and how to create the workplace culture in which creativity is encouraged and can thrive. During the second half of the show, we switched to a different topic: communication.
Now, to be honest, I went into the show thinking we were going to be discussing two very distinct topics -we’d finish up one, close the door on it, and move on to the next. And that was pretty much what happened. Until about halfway through the discussion on communication. Jan was talking about the importance of keeping communication clear and brief and used haiku as an example of a language form that is just that: clear and brief. Throw yourself back into a grade school English class, and you’ll remember that haiku is a Japanese poetry form that is delivered in three lines and 17 syllables: 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line. Haiku does not rhyme, but it must paint a mental picture.
Then it hit me – what if we could describe our businesses in haiku? What if we could paint a mental picture of our businesses in just 17 syllables and three lines? To do that, you need to really know your business and distill it down to its essence. How many of us can actually do that?
Writing haiku takes both discipline and creativity, just like running a business. So, take the Haiku Challenge. Take some time this week to really think about your business and then describe it in haiku – three lines and 17 syllables. Send your haiku to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish some of them.