Tag Archives: narratives

Don’t Sell Ideas – Debate Them

The practice of selling ideas in meetings can lead to misalignment and superficial agreement. When the focus is on persuasion rather than understanding, team members may agree without fully grasping the implications or having their concerns addressed. This superficial agreement will lead to problems down the line when the complexities of the idea come to light during implementation. If the presenter’s goal is to get buy-in for an idea, dissenting voices may be silenced or …Continue reading

A FAQ About Frequently Asked Questions

A list of questions with answers written in English are a great way to drive clear thinking on all the stuff that surround the central idea presented in a narrative. This ‘stuff’ includes things like strategy, execution, technology, business, and resources.Continue reading

Let Word Work For You

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I have to edit a document someone else has written and they’ve manually messed with the formatting. Microsoft Word has an incredibly flexible style system that makes creating docs that look great easy. It also makes easy for others editing the doc can keep things consistent. This isn’t to say Word’s style system is perfect. Far from it. Many of the same styling bugs that existed in …Continue reading

Clear Narratives Show Instead of Tell

This is yet-another-post on the topic of Amazon-style “six-page memos,” aka Narratives. This post focuses on the mantra: “Great narratives show, they don’t tell.” When writing things you believe to be facts, ask yourself: How do I know? How can I qualify it? Then, qualify it in your words. Tell (Bad): The BMW E28 M5 is a rare car. Show (Good): Of the 722,328 E28 5-series sedans BMW built between 1981 and 1987, only 2,191 …Continue reading

Be a Great Reader

When an organization has a culture where the written word is valued, being a great reader is just as important as being a great writer. Over time, I’ve tried to have a very high-bar for my own writing. I wrote a little about this in my post Details Matter. I’ve also learned the importance of being a great reader, and that’s the topic of this post. In the 2017 Amazon Shareholder letter Jeff Bezos wrote …Continue reading

Details Matter in Presenting Narratives

Narratives are written documents used to present clear thinking. Narratives enable readers to quickly understand the author’s ideas in order to drive robust conversations and decisive decision making. Details matter when it comes to printing narratives for others to read. Sloppy presentation of the written word detracts from content and shows the author lacks obsession about his or her customer (the reader). Authors must apply a very high standard for making it easy and pleasing …Continue reading