Common Craft: Uncommon Clarity

Catbert, the evil HR director.

Catbert, the evil HR director.

We had a saying about the human resources department at a company where I once worked: “Human Resources — they’re not human, they’re not resourceful.”

It was funny, because it was true. The woman who headed that team didn’t look like Catbert though — she looked more like Alice, and she was entirely humorless. I’ve never met a more insincere person in 20+ years in business — and I work in public relations!

I contrast her with another HR director I worked with at another company. Linda got into HR because she truly cares about other people. She’s passionate about hiring the right people, getting employees the training that they need and helping people achieve their potential. Plus, she cuts through the HR jargon that the Society for Human Resources Management propagates among its membership.

Lee and Sachi LeFever's effective videos feature a white board and paper cutouts.

Lee and Sachi LeFever's effective videos feature a white board and paper cutouts. Source:

Linda would love Lee and Sachi LeFever of Common Craft. You may not know Lee and Sachi, but you probably have seen their videos on Youtube. Lee and Sachi describe their product on

Our product is explanation. We make complex ideas easy to understand using short and simple videos.

Lee and Sachi’s jargon-free videos are made in with a Tim Russert style whiteboard and paper. That’s it. They call their style, “Paperworks”. I call it effective.

Check out their site and this post about their approach to business on their blog. I’ve linked to some of their videos on the front page of my blog.

I think they’re onto something.


2 responses to “Common Craft: Uncommon Clarity

  1. Sadly, your observation is more prevalent than one would imagine. At least in the old days, the Personnel Department, did not make any bones about what they did. Most organizations today simply have re designated their Personnel Departments as Human Resources Department, without bringing about the changes such re designation calls for.

    I have been a great fan of Commoncraft. With your reminding me of them, I have just visited them and subscribed to their RSS feed. Thank you.

  2. Thanks John! I hope Linda and Common Craft cross paths one day! Also, being mentioned in the same sentence as Tim Russert is a great compliment. Cheers!

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