From the President's Cockpit
Revitalizing “5 by 5” Comms
One of my favorite films is a Paul Newman flick, the 1967 film, Cool Hand Luke. One of the most memorable phrases was “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” spoken at different points in the movie; first, by Strother Martin (the prison warden) and later Newman (as Luke, a young prisoner).
I like to focus on communication as one whose left brain (math, science, logic and reasoning) tends to overpower his right (imaginative thinking). I’ve noticed of late that as a society, we are experiencing a noticeable failure to communicate; and that can only be to the detriment of our society and quality of life.
In the past, before the phone, people spoke to one another. With the advent of telephonic communication, the personal aspect became slightly reduced. Now with the advances in technology (read as … smartphones) you merely look around and see people with their heads buried in an electronic device. We all know about the perils of using electronic devices while driving but attend a meeting or go to dinner, and everyone is on their device. You may argue that electronic communication is, after all, a form of communication, but I would argue that it’s the lowest common denominator of interpersonal communication.
If you’ve read up to this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck does this have to do with AAAA?” That’s a good question that deserves some explanation.
AAAA, like every other organization, sends out a plethora of electronic information in order to keep our membership informed on a timely basis. Unfortunately, like every other organization, we find that we fall into the industry norm and less than 25% ever open the correspondence. Email is simply becoming less and less effective as a communication tool. Occasionally, we revert to the old fashioned method and make a phone call in order to speak to another human at the far end. Sometimes, a friendly out-of-office greeting is received, but after leaving a voice message, no return call is ever received. However, when connection is achieved, it is a marvelous feeling to be able to accomplish coordination, pass information, and expand upon relationships.