I am no English scholar, but I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to grammar and punctuation. Take for instance the humble apostrophe. How often have you seen an apostrophe inserted in the word "it's" to imply ownership when "its" is correct? Another rather common mistake in business writing is the incorrect usage of the plural "are" following a company name. When a company (singular) takes an action, the company "is" acting.
The incorrect usage of words, punctuation and grammatical constructs is a sign of sloppiness. It also creates an opportunity for miscommunication to occur. In today's technologically-equipped world, real-time grammar checkers should have all but eradicated poor grammar. Yet the evidence seems to show the opposite. The widespread influence of instant communication via email, text messaging and Twitter seems to have elevated speed (of response) over precision (of message). Think about the messages you have received in the last seven days. How many contained ambiguities or grammatical errors? Perhaps more importantly, how many messages did you misinterpret or misunderstand—to the extent that you needed to ask a question or double-back to check on a relationship? This might sound a little picky, but each poorly constructed message has the potential to reduce our productivity. And that brings me to the point. Isn't technology supposed to enhance our productivity? I'm sure it can, but only if we get the basics correct first.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.