What I'm Reading

What I’m reading, February 2014

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What better way to break free from the vicious 11-month-long tsunami of emails, memos, reports, meeting minutes and budgets than to read a real book, a long hard-cover book, during the holidays.

“Steve Jobs”, by Walter Isaacson, at 571 pages, neatly fits the bill. Not only does it provide fascinating insights into the life of an individual who was one of the great leaders of the digital information revolution but it provides terrific brain food on what makes success.

Jobs was weird. He was obsessed with the pursuit of the perfect vegan diet, had poor personal hygiene, denied paternity of his daughter for many years, refused to drive with number-plates on his car and threw huge tantrums. His obsession with perfection meant his homes were sparsely furnished because he could never be satisfied to the point of committing to purchases.

What Jobs had more than his peers was his ability to envision what people really wanted in communication devices before they even knew it, and then to bring it to reality through inspiring the technical talents of others.

Jobs saw things through the eyes of the customer. He dreamed of the benefits of miniature computer technology being available to people who didn’t have a clue about computer science. His greatest triumph was undoubtedly the iPhone – a single device for business and pleasure that could be carried in the pocket. Not only did the iPhone have full voice, video, email, text and social media communications functionality, but it was also a still and video camera and a source of entertainment by playing music and movies.

Right now in ACC, the Corporate Communications team is doing our best to emulate some of those positive traits of Jobs – to see the ACC scheme through the eyes of the customer rather than someone steeped in the jargon of the legislation or, dare I say it, the health sector.

If we can succeed in creating communication that speaks plainly and clearly to injured people and their friends, family and representatives, we too may help to make a positive difference.

What we won’t try to do is emulate the negatives of the Jobs approach – obsession, aggression, ruthlessness. Let us know if we do stray because good communication is two-way communication…

Published 25/02/2014

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