Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Which one would you read?

The digest from one of my LinkedIn groups included a plaintive cry from Bruce Newman, VP of the Productivity Institute, regarding their weekly newsletter. One of the articles in the current issue has been read far more often than all of the others and he would like to know why.

Here is the list: which one would you choose to read first?

  • Why Even Good Marketing Fails - And How To Fix It
  • The Problem Of Self Examination
  • Knowledge Management Systems: It's Not What You Know...
  • It's All In The Details
  • People Drive ERP Systems' Performance
  • Defining A Company's Identity
  • A Violinist In The Metro -- Washington, D.C.

If you are most intrigued by the last title then you are not alone. That's the one which has so troubled Bruce.

To me its appeal is clear: every other title is either vague and bland, or explicit and dull. Only that title arouses the reader's curiosity: it must be about busking in the subway but surely a business tech newsletter cannot publish a piece on such a subject. I expect that the sort of people who subscribe to a newsletter published by The Productivity Institute have inboxes stuffed with mailings about ERP systems; they must appreciate the chance to read something different while still apparently working.

I feared the actual article might not live up to the promise of its title. But fortunately it's worth reading. And the lesson is applicable to VP Bruce Newman's predicament.

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