What’s Missing?

The ultra-quiet, high speed fan that’s missing an on/off switch. The gorgeous print ad in a national magazine that’s missing a website address. The sales pitch that dumps facts yet never inspires action.

What’s missing?

Much of modern business work involves either creating something new (writing a news story, preparing a legal brief, designing a brochure) or editing others’ work (fixing grammatical errors, adjusting colors to match, leveling an uneven floor). An often overlooked, yet wildly important step, is to consider what’s not on the page.

Failing to take this third pass can be the difference between shoddy and brilliant work. This is how houses get built with no coat closets.

We evaluate what political candidates say, but often overlook what’s not said. In a world of photo-finish victories and losses, value is often created (or lost) in the margins.

What’s missing?

It’s an important question to ask yourself when leaving the house, ending a phone call with your significant other, or preparing for a Board meeting. This simple mantra can unleash creative thinking and take your work product to the next level.

What’s missing?

In our combative business world, competitors may appear to always be one step ahead. As you closely examine their product or service, ask yourself… what’s missing? The simple question could unlock a new opportunity for competitive differentiation. It could be your opening to turn the tides. What are they missing that you could exploit?

What’s missing?

Whatever your art may be – from spoken word poetry to insurance sales to industrial cleaning supplies – run your work past this important filter to ensure you’re delivering something outstanding instead of something bland and uninspired.

What’s missing?

Finally, this magical question isn’t always about squeezing in something extra at the last minute. What may be missing in your work is clarity, space, or focus. The question may actually drive you to remove aspects of your work; to remove noise and de-clutter the message in order to leave only the most essential elements. This thinking may help you refine; saying fewer words in order to deliver more.

Just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it isn’t bold and powerful. So I ask you…

What’s missing?