What’s more complicated – flying a plane or juggling three TV remotes?

A while back I was on vacation, alone (temporarily) in rented digs. I had satellite television. Three unusual happenstance.

I grabbed the remote eagerly and started searching for a good show to watch. I searched. I floundered.

I can’t turn the TV on. So I change tactics and switch remotes.

Three remotes later I need a glass of wine. Not sure if it is the wine or the pigheadedness I show as I doggedly (as I mix my animals) pursue my goal but eventually I turn on the TV and the satellite and manage to maneuver both to a good show. At this point I am almost too tired to watch!

A few days later finds me in a tiny plane flying to a remote community to lead a workshop on being a leader in a multicultural community. As we wing our way through the vastness that is Northern Ontario I gaze at the cockpit.

I have a double take.

The controls in the cockpit look about as confusing as the remotes.

Of course they aren’t, but to my untrained eye they look about the same.

And so it is with perspective. How much do we take in? Do we really need 150 buttons on 3 combined three remotes? Who uses 95% of those buttons?

To what degree do we need to tailor our communication for our intended audience – ramping up the complexity if required, or more often than not, culling and simplifying (without being simplistic) as we go.

When we’re teaching perspective is an elusive companion.

P.S. stay tuned for a channel changing, perspective altering announcement on Monday’s post (August 15th).



2 Responses to “What’s more complicated – flying a plane or juggling three TV remotes?”

  1. Doug Ragan Says:
    August 13th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This is a no brainer, the remotes of course! Pilots don’t have their wife staring them down because they are missing the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars or Project Runway; or their disappointed sons because they are missing Cake Boss (son1) or Family Guy (son1 and 2).

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Remote competition!

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