No doubt you've heard the phrase "You can't polish a turd" -- meaning no matter how good you try to make something look, people can still tell it's crap. Well apparently it's not true!

In a sad moment for communication integrity, on a recent trip through Netflix my family came across an episode of Mythbusters where they revealed that a Japanese art form called hikaru dorodango - which involves polishing of balls of dirt to a Pledge-like sheen - also works on animal droppings. With enough time, effort, water and gentle, consistent rubbing, you can make a pile of dung shine like the top of the Chrysler building!

polishing a turd

Of course, marketers, politicians and bank executives have been trying this for centuries, and kudos to works!

Coincidentally, the same episode of Mythbusters also revealed that the old business adage "hit the ground running" is actually a bad thing. Apparently, the friction caused by hitting the ground while moving, whether on foot, on a bike or in a car, gets you off to a worse start than if you had just started from a dead stop. So apparently forget about "getting up to speed"...spend your time polishing turds!

Tim Whitney

About Tim Whitney

Tim is the founder of Greenisland Media, having worked for and with nonprofits for over 18 years in policy, program design, and communication. @greenislandtim