The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” ― Thomas A. Edison

Whilst pursuing my MBA in India, way back in 1996, I had to also undergo a mandatory internship programme at an organisation in order to complete my management program. Next was a comprehensive dissertation, which I still dread.

On the very first day of my internship, I had the opportunity to meet the Chairman of the company. I tried to impress him with my strategies that I learnt at my B-school. He nodded his head and said, that’s all really wonderful lad, but you need to get your hands dirty and learn the tricks of the trade, the hard way and that needs a lot of patience and ‘common sense’.

He was absolutely right and 23 years down the line, I can’t agree with him more.

This thought still plays on my mind when I am meeting clients. If you really want to get something good out of a PR firm then it is important to delve a little deeper than the fancy presentations.

In over two decades, I have made several high octane presentations and have been part of the teams looking to grab the client’s attention in one of the swankiest boardrooms. I observed that people come up with fancy definitions and strategies and in the bargain fail to understand the client’s basic requirement.

I personally believe that common sense comes before strategies and it is more important than anything else. I am not saying that the strategies or ideas are not important. They are equally important but they will be more effective if they infuse their strategies with ‘common sense’. These two words look and sound simple but they can make a world of difference to your communication strategies.

By the way this is ‘What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School’. Well this is also a book by Mark McCormack. Look it up on Amazon, do read it and you will understand what I mean.


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