Every big idea that works is marked by simplicity and clarity …

Ken’s Take: I admire the way Peggy Noonan writes – even when I disagree with her positions. In this article, regardless of your POV on ObamaCare, there’s a powerful, portable lesson on leadership and rhetoric …

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Excerpted from WSJ:  Pull the Plug on ObamaCare, Peggy Noonan, Aug 21, 2009 

Every big idea that works is marked by simplicity, by clarity.

You can understand it when you hear it, and you can explain it to people.

Social Security: Retired workers receive a public pension to help them through old age.

Medicare: People over 65 can receive taxpayer-funded health care.

Welfare: If you have no money and cannot support yourself, we will help as you get back on your feet.

These things are clear. I understand them. You understand them.

The president’s health-care plan is not clear, and I mean that not only in the sense of “he hasn’t told us his plan.” I mean it in terms of the voodoo phrases, this gobbledygook, this secret language of government that no one understands—”single payer,” “public option,” “insurance marketplace exchange.”

No one understands what this stuff means, nobody normal.

And when normal people don’t know what the words mean, they don’t say to themselves, “I may not understand, but my trusty government surely does, and will treat me and mine with respect.”

They think, “I can’t get what these people are talking about. They must be trying to get one past me. So I’ll vote no.”

Full article:

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Ken’s Take II: Biz world examples from my B&D experience:

1) At one point, B&D power tools were being one-upped by Makita – a Japanese “encroacher”.  The prevailing internal strategic mantra became “Kill Makita”.  Very clear. Very emotive.  Very personal.  Compare that to trite, amorphous slogans like “Commitment to Excellence”

2) Best product name I was ever associated with was the “automatic shut-off iron”.  The name itself conveyed the product benefits in a very emotive way.

That’s what I mean by “portability” of a concept …

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