No Such Thing as Obvious

That requires some explanation.

I’ve experienced a lot of frustration trying to explain things. An idea will be so clear to me that I expect it to require minimal if any explanation. I’m typically surprised and then frustrated by the amount of work required to explain let alone advocate for the idea.

This has happened so many times, especially professionally, that it’s become clear to me that there’s no such thing as obvious.

Here’s the deal. When something seems obvious to you it means that it’s a conclusion you arrived to without thought or effort. It’s a perception more than an idea.

Have you ever witnessed a disagreement about whether some in between color is actually a blue or green? Disagreements like this don’t get resolved.

Obviousness means your idea is going to really hard to explain. And it will need explaining. People already know the things that don’t need explaining.

Given how little effort you put into this idea, you might want to consider the possibility that it’s wrong.

OK, but what if it really does matter? I think your best bet is to figure out why it matters. If you expect others to get why it’s important you’ll be disappointed again. You need to build a real case showing the cost of doing nothing.

But don’t say it like that. You have to frame it in positive terms because there’s nothing less sexy than prevention. Firefighters are heroes. They save lives. The fire inspector? I don’t even know the proper job title.

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