Rewrite passive voice and reveal the truth

Passive voice sentences conceal who is acting and create creepy feelings in the reader. Fixing them reveals the truth and improves the tone of your writing. If you write advice or instructions of any kind, here’s your tutorial. Look at this example I encountered last night at the Red Sox game, where the team wrote the rules for “Friendly” Fenway … Continued

Why can’t I use nice words instead of “bullshit”?

My dear readers, I thank you all for taking me seriously. But some of you have wondered why it’s necessary for me to use a swearword so much. Am I just trying to get attention? About two weeks into my new career Forrester’s CEO George Colony contacted me. I worked for George for 20 years; … Continued

5 ways that writing without bullshit helps your career

Writing without bullshit seems like a good idea. But is it actually better for your career? For example, somebody wrote this about their company: System-level competition is a new model for strategy in a globally-linked, information-oriented society. This is a methodology for strategic innovation that blends system design and management, ecosystem-centered business strategy, and applications from … Continued

Comcast customer service transformation, in Philadelphia Magazine

When you read about corporate transformations, be wary. Reporters love to tell these stories, because they humanize companies. We love to read them. But they’re stories, which is not the same thing as truth. Take this article about about how Comcast is transforming its customer experience, “Comcast Knows How Much You Hate Them,” by Richard Rys, in … Continued

The parable of the troublesome product manager

Once there was a product manager named Joan who worked at an Italian foods company called Patitucci’s Delights. Joan loved Italian food, and she loved helping her company sell it and make a profit. She was in charge of prepared dinner products, working alongside two other product managers for pasta and sauces. Joan had a … Continued

The Iron Imperative of writing: don’t waste my time

When writing documents, posts, or emails, keep one thing in mind above all others. I call it the Iron Imperative of writing: Do not waste the reader’s time. To help you internalize this, remember the Golden Corollary: Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. To act on this, you must internalize the … Continued