Business Needs & Solutions

The Greatest Need in Today's Dynamic Competitive World

Corporations need to ensure that staff — at all executive levels — maintain a "top-down" management perspective at all times. Every person in the line of command must have the skills to identify those issues most important to top management, clients, and customers. In addition, they need to match a problem-solving methodology with their data collection and analysis/synthesis to ensure their reports truly lead to effective decision-making. In short, every person in business needs a skill set to effectively:

  • •  Identify objectives, issues, problems and business opportunities 
  • •  Identify and acquire needed information to understand situations, problems, causes, alternatives, and opportunities/options/solutions
  •  • Synthesize facts & findings into conclusions and develop recommendations with necessary and sufficient support
  • •  Create a compelling communication strategy
  • •  Review all communications (reports, emails, presentations) for logic, support, clarity, and persuasiveness

The Problem: Bad Thinking ⇒ Poor Communication

How many meetings do you attend each week where information is "shared," everyone is bored, and few decisions are made. At bottom, the problem is: people don't know how to think or communicate clearly — at least not in a way that facilitates decision-making. You probably see this every day in reports and presentations created by others. Perhaps you also struggle, like your colleagues, with this same challenge to think and communicate clearly. The problem is we do not have enough people skilled in executive thinking and we see the result in all their communications.

All too often, reports and presentations — as well as their authors — are unfocused. The main message is lost amongst data dumps and a progression of semi-coherent findings. Pages with a single message, clearly presented and logically supported, are the exception, not the rule. The reader is often forced to decipher the "So what?" from a report because the writer failed to articulate and support a key message.

What's Your Experience?

The problem with meetings/reports/presentations

How many presentations have you attended where the presenter ran out of time before he or she made a case or got to the most important point? 

How many times have you thought "Where's the support/proof?" or "Where is this going?"  

How many times have you thought "So what?" when listening to a presentation or reading through a report?

The problem with emails

Do you spend over 30 minutes a day just sorting through your email in box, trying to determine which emails are essential, which are to be dealt with later and which are just FYI  and which are just junk but you still don't know which is which and what to do with them?  

CONFUSION. How many times have you received an email, read half way through it and  got thoroughly confused because you didn't know what what was going on and what you were expected to do?  So, next you read the email this was responding to and still didn't understand what the issue was and what you were supposed to do? 

So, you then read the email  before that one, and so on, and still didn't know what to make of it? So you scrolled down to the bottom of a long chain of email correspondence  and make it to the very first email and then start reading up the chain?  And, after reading all the emails you discovered you still did not know what to make of the original email to you or how to respond to it?  You do realize, however, that you just wasted a lot of time — time that could have been spent accomplishing something else.

LOST PRODUCTIVITY. How much of your time and productivity is lost in a typical work week because of such emails?  How many people are usually cc'd on such emails and therefore each one of them also wastes 5-6 minutes? Now calculate how many minutes or productive work time are lost to the firm from just that one email.  Now calculate how many emails like that one are sent firm wide each day, then multiply that times the average number of recipients for each email and multiply that times the average time spent in reading it. 

What does all this add up to? What is the dollar value of that lost time?

 What critical business decisions are delayed or hindered because of such faulty communications?  

How much productivity does your firm lose every day because of unfocused email correspondence?

Your own challenge?

You have seen the challenge of getting clear communications from others in your firm. Perhaps you yourself have struggled with:

•   creating concise, clear emails

•   deciphering a mountain of information and assembling a synthesis of
     the most important parts into a coherent report for those you report to

•   getting to a point quickly with all your supporting points in order

•   being able to focus and distill your message into something you could
     deliver in an elevator ride with the CEO

Unfortunately, even intelligent, analytical managers and consultants who do know their key message often have trouble putting it into simple words. 

Too many managers and consultants write in an unnatural, academic style that bores and confuses. In addition, they often focus more on "showing all the work they have done" than on distilling information into conclusions to help executives make business decisions. These confused, unfocused communicators need to learn how to inform and persuade.

Busy executives don't have time to to synthesize data into conclusions themselves or to translate foggy sentences into understandable English.  They do not have time to distill and extract key messages from an incoherent report -- where the details overwhelm any message.

Executives usually toss bloated and incomprehensible reports onto the "I'll get to this when I have time" pile. You've probably seen several of these stacks of unread reports gathering dust, each stack constituting a monument to, and of, wasted effort.  

Similarly, unfocused emails are deleted or left in the mailbox unanswered because they require too much effort to understand and respond to. The result: cluttered mailboxes, sapped productivity (in creating and reading such useless emails) and hindered decision-making and communications.

What can be done to address this problem?

The Solution

Individuals can develop the skills necessary to solve business problems and effectively communicate their analysis and solutions -- in all documents -- if they receive the appropriate training.

PDI seminars are designed to meet this critical, and pervasive, business need. Our seminars provide a firm foundation in structured thinking. Building on that foundation, we provide the standards, principles, and techniques that individuals and teams can immediately use to plan, create, organize, and revise all their emails, documents, reports, and presentations.

You will see the final result in clearer, logical, and more persuasive reports and documents and you will also see managers and consultants with better thinking skills helping your firm address real business needs and opportunities.

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