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27 Dec 2012

Vanilla Words and Uncreative Personalities, Cultures

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Vanilla Words-Vanilla Thinking

Plain VanillaJust as music can set the tone, so can words. Just as music can help you assess personalities, words too. In business, standardization and processes play critical roles and bring their own jargon to facilitate communication in very much the same way as play calling facilitates football and military jargon facilitates warfare.

When we combine the two concepts, communication with efficiency, we create what I call “vanilla words.” Just as serving chicken at weddings is safe, words can serve the same purpose: palatability for all tastes. Yet, while such words facilitate communications, what kind of mood do they set? Just as “money” words cause us to think of work and “time” words relationships, what do vanilla words cause us to think and feel?

For example, what would you think of a person using nothing but vanilla words? How creative would you suggest his word choice was? How creative would you think he is? Long ago, as a merchandise buyer, a vendor showed me a 15-year old children’s bed sheet line that doubled sales in one year by simply changing the packaging. Similarly, many ideas seem fresh simply because of a different wording to present it.

If the creativeness and innovativeness of a culture correlate strongly to the presence of diverse personalities, why can’t the same be true for a person with regard to his word choice? Diverse word choice correlates to creativeness and vanilla word choice to standard thinking? Furthermore, if we return to the power of words to set our moods, what mood does a vanilla presentation set in us? An uncreative one? A standard one?

Thus, if we wish to help people or cultures feel more creative; we should spice up our word choice with some non-vanilla words.

 

Series Navigation<< Standardization: A Form of Thought ControlVanilla Words, Vanilla People, Succumbing CEO’s >>

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