Imagine an exam, a presentation, a group discussion, where you are woefully lacking in preparation. What would you do in that crunch moment? Ironically, there is a good chance that your answer sheet would be more heavily written upon than normal. Your presentation would draw out longer than usual, or your group discussion would be hogged by your senseless squabble with the group. This phenomenon is known by many terms at different b-schools, most popularised by the term ‘Globe’ at IIM Lucknow. So quantity wins over quality? Obviously not. But the applications of this phenomenon have been witnessed everywhere. Bollywood movies are often made unnecessarily long just to capture the ‘paisa wasool’ mentality among Indians that has been prevalent. A longer list of degrees and achievements has always been seen as the instrument for perceived future success. Our very own constitution stands as a stellar example of that perception. It is after all the longest written constitution of any sovereign country.
The human brain has the ability to remember at most seven distinct things at a time, and in today’s culture the focus is more on making an impact. With the continued shrinkage of the world, for every one brand of goods we find thousands of other brands. There may be many political leaders in India, but ‘Modi’ emerged as a brand name in itself. There may have been many search engines in the world but Google remains the only name that finds utility in a phrase like ‘googled it up’. Making an impact is the new mantra nowadays, and some things are best kept short. American Express has a short yet powerful vision statement, “To be the world’s most respected service brand”. They never specified on their strengths but the power phrase ‘service brand’ is enough to evoke the senses of the customer. They could have very well propounded on their speciality to evoke more respect but that would have robbed them from having impact.
A short message may not capture everything, but it should capture enough since people remember shorter sentences. The times are changing now. Those long drawn out Bollywood movies are slowly turning into an antique thing of the past. It’s not the number of degrees that you have or the list of achievements you have, but rather the quality of it that matters more. The presentations are now filtered for content rather than crafty well-constructed sentences. Speaking more does not guarantee you anything in group discussions. In the past, poems were part of huge tomes of texts and allegories, and the length of a Shakespeare play never detracted.