Before and After Engagement


There's a Zen proverb that says:

"Before enlightenment: chopping wood, carrying water.

After enlightenment: chopping wood, carrying water."

It packs a lot of meaning in a few words. Yet, it's not the same as today's revered soundbites. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The main difference is that while soundbites are expected to give us the gist of something, all they give us is but a tiny sliver of it. So we can remember and repeat them easily. You can't hang an argument or make sense of things from such paltry material.

Little declarations that support no questions. A low calorie snack food for the brain, all sugars and no nutrients. Which is why they sneak up on you.

We live in an age enamored with compression and speed.

Relationships still take time to set.

Before and after engagement

We learn by doing. Our best brand executions are those that continuously close the gap between the promises we make and those we keep. They're the best because they allow us to make better promises, and to turn buyers (one transaction) into customers (a trade).

In that spirit, to borrow from the masters for digital and analog experience, I'll say:

Before engagement: build and deliver.

After engagement: deliver and build.


[image by kreep]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.

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