Maamas – Mother’s day greetings and facebook

Our May blogs: The DNA of the Disorganised, When Planning becomes a waste of time, The Spare tyre; when do we need spare? discussed various aspects of order and disorder. When does order or disorder lead to effectiveness and efficiency or vice versa? You may be ordered, but not effective – planning a waste of time!

We also discussed the phenomenon of ‘spare’ for both humans and organisations. We asked, and answered, if  having spare in abundance, influences the efficiency and effectiveness of individuals and organisations – spares and the efficacy spare brings to our work

In this final blog of the May series, the Effectiveness lab delves into yet another subject related to the things we do in our life, their rationale, and the efficacy attained thereof.

Mother's day greetings and facebook Pic. Credit:

Mother’s day greetings and facebook
Pic. Credit:

The topic we are discussing this week is effective communication. Why do we communicate? Is our communication impactful or not? What is effective-Communication? Apparently, it’s a two-way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party.

Do you ever ask, whenever you communicate, the extent to which you are: strategic in your communication, using the right tools to communicate, as well as skills? Not many of us do – we communicate because we have to; therefore, communication is a given.  Sadly, on certain occasions, we do not communicate with impact.  Many times, effective-communication eludes us.

The abundance of communication channels and the challenge of effective communication – Facebook:

In writing that Facebook may not always be the means of effective communication, one risks the wrath of the Z generation kids.   To many of them, plus many others, Facebook is the panacea for effective communication. The truth is that, while Facebook has proven itself a very effective communication tool, it can also create incredible noise as well as addictive and impulsive communication. Even with Facebook, we should keenly apply, communication: strategy, tools, and skills

Mother’s day:

A few weeks ago, the world celebrated mother’s day. A day that is important to all those that have or had mothers. Growing up in rural Uganda, we celebrate our mother, every day of our lives. Our mother, MAAMA as we call her, is celebrated every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year.

We do not understand when and how in my village Nakabugu and I assume many others in Uganda, we decided to designate ONLY one day in a year Mother’s day, and the other days, non-Mother’s.

On reflection, we trace back the emergence of the ‘xxxxxx day’ fad to the 1990’s. At Makerere University in Uganda, we started to notice the emergency of designated ‘special’ days. It all started with Valentine’s day and University lovers parading themselves in Red on a certain February day – read excuse to party and drink. Mother’s day celebrations started to become a part of society – at least outside church circles. Mother’s day is now semi-official and on our calendars – or, I am told. Not ours anyway, as we still celebrate MAAMA every day of our lives

I wonder how many of you remember when mother’s day is due – May what???. Might it be that you only get to remember Mother’s day when Facebook peers go Mother’s day crazy? That is when you get into the frenzy to post mother’s day messages; at times, messages have been sent to MAAMA’s that don’t have a clue what Internet is about.

Well, what about this. Our MAAMA, does not understand Internet. We do not want her to understand The Internet. It’s, at her age and in her Nakabugu village context, completely ineffective and inefficient for her to use her increasingly limited and precious mental bandwidth to master the workings of the internet.

Why would we want to post so-called mother’s day greetings to MAAMA on Facebook? Yes, we know that is us and not you – we fully respect you and what you choose to do. We have to be very careful, we know!

However, if you are posting mother’s day greetings to a MAAMA that is internet-illiterate and not posthumous, you need to ask yourself if you are communicating effectively or just creating noise on the internet? Are you short on communication strategy, tools, and skills?

The irony of the Mother’s day we crave to celebrate:

While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards and other gifts.

Mother’s Day is a holiday honouring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.

Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

The big question:

As you send all those Mother’s day greetings on Facebook, ask who you are communicating with?  Your acquaintances or your MAAMA? Are you advertising MAAMA to the world instead of directly messaging MAAMA on her big day? Every year, we have been tempted to post Facebook greetings to MAAMA, but wondered how MAAMA, far away in remote Nakabugu, would get the message

At the Effectiveness lab, we aim to attain efficacy in everything we do. Efficacy is derived from the seamless effort to conduct business in effective and efficient ways. The latter is driven by four factors: the leader in you, your strategy choice, the housing to host and maturate strategy, and finally the people that bring the requisite skills to the table.

Are you communicating effectively or only adding to the noise in an already chaotic communication-sphere?


Categories: Design, People, Strategy

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. This is really nice read, thanks for sharing.


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