Sound Bites versus Facts

In the ongoing battle of summarization, facts are sometimes the loser. We all acknowledge that, given the incredible amount of information which comes our way each day, summarization is the only way to credibly make progress. A big challenge then, is really distilling the true information, the true content from the details in order to summarize to facts. More often than not, what is left from a distillation is more of a sound bite, the height of what may actually been “said” without regard to what information or “content” was actually delivered and presented. A root problem here may be that delivering a sound bite is much easier, requires less thought and less insight and therefore occurs more often than delivering a fact. This may be OK for the evening news, but it is not acceptable where stakeholder value is being determined and delivered. Leaders must continually probe, prod, push and poke an organization to set the expectation that facts are key to quick and good decision making, and pure sound bites generally slow things down.

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