June 18, 2015
News You Can Use
What do doctors, a gold rush, and a house fan have in common?
They are all sources of metaphors used as hammers to nail points for readers
found in random op-ed newspaper articles. How they are used is instructive for
those of you who, like these writers, argue logically every day for your ideas,
products, and services. Below are a few examples, but the larger message here is
to look for similar metaphors in whatever papers, magazines, or news shows you
how they are used. Clip or, if online, save them, and mine them for future
Pilots & Doctors
Replacing piloted aviation prone to human error with fail-safe
automation is a very appealing notion until you take a closer look and realize
that that is a false hope. Airline pilot and author Patrick Smith made that
crystal clear mid-way through in his op-ed piece
“Why Pilots Still Matter:” “The best analogy, I think, is modern
medicine. Cockpit automation assists pilots in the same way that robots and
other advanced medical experiments assist surgeons. It has improved their
capabilities, but a plane no more flies itself than an operating room performs a
hip replacement by itself.”
It will be a loooong time before I get on a
plane without a live pilot.
Information & the Gold Rush
A day doesn’t go by when we are not reminded of how vulnerable
our privacy is. In the case of our medical records, David J. Brailer, CEO of
private equity firm Health Evolution Partners, sounds the alarm in
“They’re Your Vital Signs, Not Your Medical Records.” He calls for change in
how your health information is being handled currently without your control.
Current health policy allows electronic records companies, hospitals, and health
systems to withhold information about you. They can and do use this information
to gain a competitive edge in the market. The stakes are high and there are many
players in the market. Brailer concludes by saying, “The gold rush is on.
Someone is going to benefit from the immeasurable wealth created from your
health information and its capacity to extend and improve lives. It might as
well be you.”
I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to keep my
gold. Change that policy!
Wildfires & House Fans
Pictures and videos of western wildfires make for dramatic media
coverage, but they have very real dire consequences for those who have to live
with them each year--and they are not going away any time soon. Indeed, as
firefighter and author Kyle Dickman noted in
“Get Ready for Another Hot Forest Firefighter Season“, “…the federal Forest
Service predicts that nearly every fire season for the foreseeable future will
be as bad or worse [as last year’s fires]. That’s why we need to change how we
deal with wildfires.” Dickman then goes on to advocate for a bill in Congress
that would change policies to deal more effectively with these disasters. He
amplifies the inadequacy of current policies with this example: “Arizona’s 2013
Yarnell Hill Fire…killed 19 elite wildland firefighters before going on to
blacken 130 homes. …OSHA fined Arizona’s state government half a million dollars
for recklessly risking firefighters’ lives in an attempt to save buildings that
couldn’t be saved. In OSHA’s estimation, battling Yarnell Hill was akin to
trying to blow back a tornado with a house fan. Brush and trees had grown
right up next to the houses and the flames were 60 feet tall.”
Wow! Of course
this bill needs to be passed!
Keep Your Eyes & Ears Open
Examples of metaphors and analogies in op-ed articles to drive
home points are in the news every day. Notice them. Be inspired by them. Create
your own high impact verbal images to similarly grab attention, create urgency
and simplify complexity for the people you need to influence and persuade in
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
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The Shortcut to Yes!
- Why Metaphor?
- 10X to Reach for Metaphor
- The Metaphor-Mind Connection
- Beginning Steps to Metaphor Mastery
- Metaphorians from Steve Jobs to Arianna Huffington
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