Looking for something? Look here!
Want more unvarnished truth?
What you're saying...
What I'm saying now
I think tag clouds are pretty, and not to be taken overly seriously
##MoveWithGary #Home Inspection #MoveWithGary 111 Chop House 75 on Liberty Wharf 9/11 A Broth of a Boy ABCs Abiouness accountability activities alcohol Allora Ristorante Analysis Angry Hams ANSI/TIA 942 Anthony's Pier 4 Apple Application Armsby Abbey Arsenal Arturo's Ristorante Ashland AT&T Audio Automation baby Baby Monitor babysitting Back To School Bad News Bangkok Thai banks lending movewithgary Bar Bay State Common baystateparent BBQ BCP Bees BeeZers Before I die I want to... behavior Big Bang Bike Bill of Rights Bistro Black Box BlackBerry Boston Boston Marathon boundaries Boyston BPO brand Breakfast Bridge Bring Your Own Technology Budget Burlington Burn Burrito buyer BYOD Cabling Cambridge Camp Campaign career Casey's Diner Castle casual cCabling Cell Phone Central Square Change Management Cheers Chef Sun ChengDu Chet's Diner Children Chinese Christmas Christmas Families Holiday CIO Cloud coddle collage College College Acceptance co-lo Co-Location Co-Location Tier Power Cooling Comfort Food Control Country Country Kettle Crisis customer dad Dad Phrases damage daredevil Data Center Data Center Design Davios Day Care Dead Death declaration Del Frisco's Design Desktop Video dinner Disaster Recovery Divorce Do Epic Shit dodgeball downsizing Downtown Crossing DR driving Droid Easter Economic Kids Edaville Education Elbow Night Elevator Employee Engagement Erin Estate Planning Etiquette Evaluation events Exchange Expiration Dates Facebook Failing family Family Law Fatherhood Favorite things first time buyer Flash Flemings Fogo de Chão Food Hits and Misses Format Foundry on Elm Foxborough Frameworks fraternity Fraud French Fried Clams friends fun Fusion Generations germs Girl Scouts girls Global Go/No Go GPS Grafton Grandchild Grandpa Harry's hazing Healthcare Healthy Choices while Dining Out Help Desk Hisa Japanese Cuisine Historic holiday Home Home Inspection hope Horizons hose Hot Dog Hurricane IIT Assessment incident Indecision Indian Infrastructure Inn Innovation Insurance Internet Inventory Management iPhone IT IT Assessment IT Satisfaction Italian Jack Daniels Jakes Restaurant Janet Japanese Jazz Joey's Bar and Grill JP's Khatta Mitha kickball kids Laid off Lakes Region Lala Java Leadership Learning legacy Legal Legal Harborside Les Zygomates L'Espalier Liberty Wharf life transition lights out Linguine's loss Love Lucky's Cafe luxury luxury home M&M Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade mai tai Managed Application Services Managed Services managers Mandarin Manners Mark Fidrych marlborough marriage Mary Chung mass save Maxwell-Silverman Mediterranean meetings Memorial Day memory Mendon Mergers Mexican MiFi Migration Ming III miss MIT MIT CIO Symposium mmortgage Mobility Moes Hot Dog Truck MOM money mortgage Mother MoveWithGary Moving on Name nature neanderthal neighborhood Network new listing New York Marathon newborn newtomarket Northborough Not Your Average Joe's Nuovo Nursing On-Call Operations Operators Oregon Club Organization Pancakes Pandemic Parental Control Parenting Patch Peeves People Perserverance UMASS growth Photography Play Plug and Run Predictable Pride Problem Process Production program Project Management propane PTA. PTO PUE QR Quick Response Rant re/max Real Estate Realtor Recognition Red Rock Resiliency Respect restaurant Restaurant Guy RFP ribs Ritual Root Cause Analysis rReal Estate Sam Adams Sandy Sapporo savings School Sea Dog Brewing Company Sea Dog Steak and Ale Seafood Seaport Security Sel de la Terra Service Service Desk Service Indicator Light sharing ShearTransformation SHIRO Shit Pump Shriners SHTF Simplification Skunk Works Skype Sleep sleepovers Sloan Smith & Wollensky soccer Son SOP sorority spanking Squarespace staffing staging Starbucks Status Reporting Steak Steve Jobs Storage Strategy stress Summer Sushi swimming Tacos Acalpulco teacher Technology Teen Telephony Temperature Strip Tenka terrorist Testing Texas BBQ Company Text Thai Thanksgiving in IT The Mooring Thomas Thought Leader Three Gorges III TIA 942 Timesheets Toby Keith Toddlers traditions Transition treehouse turnover TV Twitter unspoken moments Valentine's Day Value Vendor Venezuelan Verizon Vermont Video Vietnamese voice VoIP Watertown Wedding Westborough Korean Restaurant Westborough MA. StormCam WiFI Wi-Fi Wilbraham Wine Worcester work work life balance working Yama Zakura Zem Han Zitis

Entries in Format (1)


The Value of Consistent Format

“Here’s the Format Manual,” was intoned during orientation for one company. Without even looking up, a small pamphlet was envisioned. Instead, a 1” thick three ring binder was presented.

In it was every conceivable form of communication along with the specified format. Yes, two column for a memo, in the company’s unique (yes, unique) font, including the flow of the overall document. It felt very restrictive; leaving me wondering what led a partnership to commission a “Format Manual.”

I now “get it.” Here’s why.

My business is helping companies develop IT Strategy. We often take complex subjects and present them in a compelling manner. This has led us to develop a library of hundreds upon hundreds of PowerPoint slides, all stored on SharePoint for staff to access.

This intellectual property library allows us to quickly respond to client needs….pulling together non-client specific data quickly and professionally.

For this to be effective, the slides must all have the same look and feel…otherwise we can’t build presentations from existing materials.

Recently, a presentation was developed where a lot of time was spent on modifying the format…limiting the value of those materials.

All our presentations have black letters on white backgrounds. This one has white letters on a black background. Personally, making notes on a black background slide is nearly impossible.

The fonts were changed, introducing a new font, and in some cases shading. As before, these slides don’t “look” like ours, and certainly can’t be reused.

We use stock photos in most of our presentations…for a professional look. This author had to use black and white cartoon figures….and hand drawn figures. It just doesn’t hold together for me. In fact, it cheapens the look.

My sense is authors should spend time on developing concepts and presenting compelling ideas as a prime focus, not on changing format.

As I thought about this blog entry, I was drawn to an example of where format is varied and it works. Google’s Doodles come to mind. They are compelling.

That said, they are temporary, they are clever, they don’t impact function….

I respect that IBM’s used Helvetica forever. Every IBM document is the same.

When was the last time the New York Times used a different font than…say….Cheltenham. Every 100 years or so. Heck, even when they went digital they scanned the old image.

So…let’s give it a decade before we change formats. Until then, let’s focus on content.