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    Logic In Thinking And Writing   How To Guide Logic In Thinking And Writing How To Guide Presentation Transcript

    • Logic in Thinking and Writing How to Guide Jan 2006 Version 1.2
    • Acknowledgements:
      • Elements of the material presented in this pack have been developed from:
      • “ The Minto Pyramid Principle - Logic in Writing, Thinking and Problem Solving” by Barbara Minto (1996)
      • “ The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook” by Peter Senge, Richard Ross, Bryan Smith, Charlotte Roberts and Art Kleiner (1994)
      • “ Requisite Organisation” by Elliott Jacques (1998)
      • “ Complexity” by Roger Lewin (1989)
      • “ Teach Yourself to Think” by Edward De Bono (1995)
    • Contents
      • Section I: Thinking and the Thought Process
      • Section II: SIP, A Vehicle for Thinking and
      • Communication
      • Section III: Unity and SIP
      • Section IV: Constructing a SIP Document – Logic in
      • Thinking
      • Section V: Constructing a SIP Document – Logic in
      • Writing
      • Section VI: Communicating with a SIP
      • Section VII: Constructing a SIP Document and
      • Presentation
    • Section I – Thinking and the Thought Process
      • What is Thinking?
      • What Makes Thinking Difficult
      • Approaches to the Thought Process
      • The ‘Unity’ Thought Process
      “ Thinking Is the Hardest Work There Is... ...That’s Why So Few People Do It” - Henry Ford
    • A. What is Thinking?
      • What is thinking? The answer is that no one really knows, but we do know the purpose of thinking, and that is to stop thinking:
        • The human brain tries its hardest to simplify life by setting up routine patterns of perception and action. Once you identify the pattern you flow along it without further effort. For example, if you had to think through which order to put on 6 pieces of clothing you would never leave the house as you need to sort through 47,000 combinations, but we get dressed quickly each day
      • The problem we have is that in business, this mechanism kicks in all too frequently. That is, when managers are faced with a problem / opportunity they implicitly rely on these patterns of perception (which have developed from a combination of their skills, experience and knowledge) to solve it – this is NOT thinking
      • Thinking is the discipline of restraining the natural impulses and forcing the brain to deal with what is in front of it, not what it ‘perceives’ is in front of it
    • B. What Makes Thinking Difficult?
      • “ Birds fly, when they get tired they land. Man thinks, when he gets tired he says ‘I understand’” (Japanese proverb)
      • Thinking is made more difficult by the confusion of two forms of complexity:
        • Detail complexity – the type of complexity that occurs due to the number of variables; and
        • Dynamic complexity - The type of complexity that occurs due to the nature of the interrelationships between variables (or elements of a system)
      • The ‘thought’ task of detail complex situations is based around ‘how’ to bring the detail together and create order
      • The ‘thought’ task of dynamically complex situations is based around ‘identifying’ the variables and ‘understanding’ the interrelationships between them
    • C. Approaches to the Thought Process
      • Left to Right
        • Start at the beginning and work our way through to the end (this is easier because you always move into an area you already know)
        • Outcomes are whatever we end up with
      • Bottom Up
        • Primarily concerned with how to pull information together
        • People naturally start at a level of detail they are comfortable with, but not necessarily related to the problem / opportunity
        • Limits the development of insight
        • Commonly results in ‘boiling the ocean’
      • Right to Left
        • Start at the end (outcomes) and work back to the beginning identifying how to get there (this is more difficult because you have to ‘think’ about where you are going)
        • Outcomes are planned and rarely adjusted
      • Top Down
        • Primarily concerned with the develop of insight (interrelationship between variables)
        • Requires starting at the level of problem / opportunity and working down
      Natural for Most People Natural for Few People
    • D. The ‘Unity’ Thought Process
      • The ‘Unity’ methodology integrates both ‘Right to Left’ and ‘Top Down’
      • ‘ Right to Left’ because the objective of the methodology is to deliver business outcomes. Given that this is the case then it is also the best place to start
        • The resulting discussions should be focused explicitly around ‘what do we need to do to achieve y’ rather than let’s build x and hope we get y
      • ‘ Top Down’ because (a) value is added through the development of insight into a business not by helping them collate data and (b) businesses are focused on solving dynamically complex problem / opportunities which are not resolved with bottom-up methodologies
    • Section II – SIP, A Vehicle for Thinking and Communicating
      • What is SIP?
      • Situation, Implication and Proposal
      • How Is SIP Used?
      “ As a general rule for thinking, if you cannot describe in writing to be understood by someone else about your decision problem and what you are doing as a process about it, then you do not know what you are doing.” – Dr Hossein Arsham SIP Proposal Proposal Implication Situation What this is all about Why this is important for us What we suggest we do about it
    • A. What is SIP?
      • The elements of a SIP document are Situation, Implication and Proposal
      • A proposal is the essence of collaborative thinking and communication, but needs context to be relevant and is therefore supported by a situation and implication
      • SIP is a structured story which is a vehicle through which your thinking is communicated to others ie: it facilitates the intellectual challenge of getting ones thinking onto paper in a way that is easily communicated and understood
      • The wording of a SIP story is the vehicle for the thoughts, and as such can only be chosen after the logic has been developed. People who appear to ‘go around in circles’ when writing documents do so because the thinking is not complete
      • The effectiveness of a SIP document therefore results primarily from:
        • The logical presentation of ideas that enable clarity and comprehension for thinking
        • The unassailable logic of the thoughts that it presents
        • The way in which it deals with ‘perception’ through the simplicity, specificity* and clarity of language (*in a world that occurs in conversation, semantics are everything)
    • B. Situation, Implication and Proposal
      • The situation consists of a statement(s) about a subject with which all stakeholders are likely to agree
      • The implication is the business impact of a particular situation
      • The proposal is a description of the intended action that is a logical response to the implication(s)
    • The situation consists of a statement(s) about the subject with which all stakeholders are likely to agree
      • The situation comes at the front of the story to either lock down what you know or to create a shared and accepted understanding by the audience
      • In any situation where the facts are either previously unknown or ambiguous, a strong situation enables you to create common understanding.
      • The situation may consist of:
        • Undisputed facts defined in commonly used terms, which are numerated where possible (physicals or financials)
        • Anecdotal evidence about the subject that will be accepted as true
      • Situation statements are free from opinion, emotions (adjectives) etc
      • Note if you have to make assumptions in your situation, then state them clearly. Clearly stated assumptions that are wrong are better than no assumptions at all, and allow for solution by design rather than argument
      “ We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts” - John Dewey
    • The implication is the business impact of a particular situation
      • The implication is the problem / opportunity. For example the situation may be that we have high process variance in a factory. This in itself is may not be a problem / opportunity. It is when we illustrate that the high process variance is causing (quantifiable) higher than acceptable levels of waste that we have a problem / opportunity
      • The implication should always have a financial value
    • The proposal is a description of the intended action that is a logical response to the implication(s)
      • The proposal must specifically address the implication
      • Proposals for action that are generic rarely lead to successful outcomes because there is no such thing as a generic problem / opportunity (all they indicate is lazy thinking!)
      “ The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them” - Albert Einstein
    • Story Example
      • Situation
      • Bill production has 90 bill cycles per month that are scheduled around systems constraints and contractual arrangements
      • The volume of accounts distributed varies by up to 50k per day and the timing of expected payments varies from 15 to 29 days
      • Implication
      • The variation in volumes contributes to variation in workflows for both the front and back office which impact customer satisfaction and costs by reducing service levels at peak times and requiring a buffer to be built into the schedule to protect against unexpected variance which adds 10% ($4m pa) to staff costs
      • The variation in expected payment means that 85% of all payments are received after 16 days driving a capital cost of $6m pa
      • Proposal
      • Smooth out bill volumes across the calendar month to reduce the variation of workflows, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction
      • Enforce the 15 day payment period
    • C. How Is a SIP Used?
      • A SIP document will alter in terms of content during the Unity lifecycle, but is used for three purposes:
      • As a vehicle that forces the author to lock down his or her thinking/understanding at a point in time to enable reiteration
      • The SIP story may be used as a series of hypotheses to guide analytic activity; and
      • The SIP is the basis of all presentations
    • 1. As a vehicle that forces the author to lock down his or her thinking / understanding at a point in time to enable reiteration*
      • A high level SIP story may be developed from the barest of details gathered during an meeting/interview/workshop etc
      • Writing down, learning and re-telling your SIP story to yourself / team /stakeholders is the fastest way to test the logic of your thinking, challenge any preconceived notions, reiterate and improve your thinking
      • Separation of situation from implication provides the insight of clarifying the problem / opportunity that is to be solved
      • Understanding the ‘real’ problem / opportunity is vital to the logical order of the process for developing a solution
    • Why do you reiterate?
      • … BECAUSE YOU ARE NEVER, EVER COMPLETELY CORRECT THE FIRST TIME!!!
      • Albert Einstein said, "I think and think for months and years, ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right. It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.“
      • The only way to reiterate is to lock down your thinking (in SIP format) as often as possible and use your peers and stakeholders to challenge that thinking
      Reiteration is the key ingredient of value creation Start Goal
    • 2. The SIP story may be used as a series of hypotheses which guide analytic activity
      • A well constructed SIP clarifies the problem / opportunity and disaggregates it into its logical components
      • If the SIP has been put together from workshops/interviews (ie not factually proven) it is in fact a series of hypotheses
      • Proving or disproving these hypotheses should then become the focus of analytic activity - it helps us to avoid “boiling the ocean”
      • The analytic activity is focused because the hypotheses are provided context by the story format
      • As an issue/idea is disproved the story must be reiterated and developed
    • A well constructed story clarifies the problem / opportunity and disaggregates it into its logical components enabling focused analytic activity Situation Bill production has 90 bill cycles per month that are scheduled around systems constraints and contractual arrangements that create variation in the volume of accounts distributed and the timing of expected payments Implication The variation in volumes contribute to revenue collection delays and variation in workflows for both the front and back office which impact customer satisfaction and costs Each months bill production process requires 90 bill cycles to generate the bills for 3m accounts The monthly billing cycle is scheduled against constraints that include set ‘pay by’ dates in ICMS and a contractual requirement with ABC to limit the number of images sent to print each per day to 550k The scheduling system creates daily variation in the volume of accounts by ‘run date’ and ‘pay by date’ and the expected revenue due by ‘pay by’ date The scheduling of ‘pay by’ dates beyond 15 days delays revenue collection and impacts XYZ’s cash flow It is likely that variation in the volume of accounts distributed by statement date may be driving variability of calls into 123/126 It is likely that variation in the volume of accounts distributed by statement date may be driving variability of calls into 128 PROVE PROVE PROVE PROVE PROVE PROVE
    • Ghost Pack Structure Title Page
      • “ Front Page”
      • Governing Thought
      • Situation Lead
      • Implication Lead
      • Proposal Lead
      Lead A
      • Situation Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      • Lead C
      Lead B Lead C
      • Implication Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      Lead A Lead B
      • Solution Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      Lead A Lead B
    • 3. The SIP is the basis of all presentations
      • Presentations are not simply to deliver recommendations they are the vehicle through which thinking is communicated
      • Presentations should have a governing thought - the main message that you want your audience to carry away with them
      • Ordering a presentation with a logical situation and implication, followed by a proposal that answers the problem / opportunity, is more likely to constructively engage an audience than a presentation that enables content to be disputed
    • Section III – Unity and SIP
      • Unity is a powerful business methodology
      • The Unity methodology is predicated on the progressive synthesis of business solutions throughout the methodology lifecycle
      • This progressive synthesis is represented in the form of artefacts which capture the information required for the Requirements, Design and Business Case (RDB)
      • The RDB is not however, a vehicle for thinking or communication
      • Therefore each progression of the RDB will be accompanied by a SIP document
    • Section IV - Constructing a SIP Document – Logic in Thinking
      • The Importance of Logic in Thinking?
      • MECE – Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive
      • The Top Down Approach to Creating Logical Groupings
      • The Bottom Up Approach to Creating Logical Groupings
      • Types of Groupings
      • Deductive and Inductive Logic
      “ I might be wrong, but I am not confused” - Anonymous
    • A. The Importance of Logic in Thinking *Miller, George A. The Psychology of Communication: Seven Essays (Basic Books: Pa.) 1967
      • Deductive and Inductive Logic
      • Pyramid Principle
      • SIP
      We impose logical order to the parts of a whole to draw conclusions We limited the number of ideas and pre-sort them to support communication and comprehension We draw conclusions by associating ideas
      • MECE
      • Structural, Time and Degree Orders
      We take our higher order groupings and compare them We think in terms of wholes rather than parts ( Problem solving and insight development is faster and easier when we explicitly create a structure for our mind to work with) We create meaning only with relativity
      • Levels of abstraction
      • Logical Grouping
      We summarise lists into higher order groupings We can only remember seven things, plus or minus two* Tools & Techniques What We Use to Help Us The Way We Think
    • Example - Problems with a Monthly Report
      • Buyers are unhappy with the sales and inventory system reports because:
        • Report frequency is inappropriate
        • Inventory data is unreliable
        • Inventory data comes to late
        • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
        • Buyers want reports with better formats
        • Buyers do not want meaningless data
        • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
        • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
      Note: This is what is referred to as a laundry list. Ie: a random list of ideas that has not been pre-sorted to enable comprehension by the reader
    • Example Rewritten:
      • The sales and inventory system produces an inadequate monthly report
      • It contains unreliable data
      • It presents it in an unwieldy format
      • It is issued too late to permit action
      Easier to Comprehend
    • Degree order grouping (to be discussed later) was used to rework the example
      • Report frequency is inappropriate
      • Inventory data comes to late
      • Inventory data is unreliable
      • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
      • Buyers do not want meaningless data
      • Buyers want reports with better formats
      • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
      • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
      Complaint Common Characteristic 1. Bad timing 2. Poor data 3. Unhelpful format
    • B. MECE – Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive MECE is a tool for ensuring that there are no gaps within and no overlaps between our groupings 1 5 3 2 1 2 3 4 6 MECE Not MECE
    • Ensuring the subject we are dealing with has been structured in a MECE fashion enables quality thinking
      • Separate groups of issues may be dealt with individually
      • If anything is missing it will be recognised more easily
      • We can view the whole picture and reduce the need to search for and ask additional questions
      • Least important issues and noise can be put aside to focus on those that have the biggest impact
      • We can remember the conclusions far more easily
    • C. The Top Down Approach to Creating Logical Groupings
      • The Top Down approach to creating logical groupings is to begin with a predefined MECE structure, such as a logic tree, which is progressively detailed
      • This is effective when very little is known about the situation
      • The limitation of this approach is that it may create unnecessary work as ‘everything’ is examined
      • A further limitation of this approach is that it means that issues and ideas are put into pre-defined baskets which may inhibit the development of insight
    • A Top Down approach to creating logical grouping is the process of creating MECE logic trees Types of Logic Trees
    • A “deductive” logic tree starts with a problem / opportunity definition and divides it into components. The ends of the tree can be used to divide the basic question into issues How can ABC improve ROI? Increase profit Reduce investment Reduce fixed investment Reduce working capital Increase revenue Reduce cost Increase volume Increase price Improve product mix Reduce R&D cost Reduce production cost Reduce marketing cost Reduce overhead cost Reduce stocks Reduce debtors Extend creditors Issues Deductive Logic Tree For ROI
    • A “hypothesis” logic tree postulates a solution hypothesis and develops a necessary and sufficient rationale to validate or disprove it Company X must increase the market share of its core product The best way to reverse declining profit is to increase market share The best way to establish a large customer base is to increase the market share of the core product Will increasing market share will be too costly? Will increasing market share require large price reductions? Is a large customer base important for the success of future products? REASONS KEY ISSUES HYPOTHESIS Hypothesis Logic Tree EXAMPLE
    • An issue logic tree phrases key issues so that they can be answered Yes or No and sequences them in a logical order showing the dependent action Does company X have a clear business strategy? Is it able to implement this strategy? Does it have the resources and skills to develop its own strategy? Maintain client relationship Propose an implementation program Propose a strategy study for the company Yes Yes Yes No No No Issue Logic Tree EXAMPLE
    • Tenets of Issue Analysis
      • Issue analysis is based on tenets that make it a powerful tool for sequencing and programming problem / opportunity solving resources
        • We have clients because clients have issues which aggregate to problem / opportunities
        • Issue solving must be fact based to be persuasive and to avoid following erroneous norms
        • Testing norms/hypothesis with facts will ensure resulting arguments are persuasive and problem / opportunity solving process if efficient
        • There is a sequencing to problem / opportunity solving that is efficient and focused
    • There is rarely a perfect approach and one should only invest sufficient time in investigating the problem / opportunity structure to highlight the leverage points
      • Logic tree check list
      • Components are MECE - Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive - (no gaps, no overlaps)
      • Logic tree is useful ie. it focuses on the action leverage points of the problem / opportunity
      • Splits follow a logical hierarchy
      • Elements within splits are logically consistent
      • Remember the 80 - 20 rule, 20% of the effort leads to 80% of the results
    • A thinking map to link the analysis planning to the issues to be resolved to solve the problem / opportunity Thinking Map Note that the order will change depending on the type of logic tree used Issues The key questions (approximately 2-5) which must be resolved Sub-Issues Important elements (approximately 2-5) for each issue Hypothesis One or more hypothesised ‘best guess’ answers to each sub-issue to be proven or disproved through analysis to point the way to the analysis required Analysis Analysis required to prove or disprove the hypotheses in the prior column Data Sources The source of means of obtaining the data required to complete the analysis End Products A description of the end product to be delivered - best described as a ghost exhibit Responsibilities The person who will obtain the data, undertake the analysis and generate the end product Timing The time required (in days or weeks) to gather the data, complete the analysis, and generate the end product
    • Issues and sub-issues should fully delineate the basic questions in a logically ordered way Thinking Map Issues The key questions (approximately 2-5) which must be resolved Sub-Issues Important elements (approximately 2-5) for each question Hypothesis Analysis Data Sources End Products Responsib-ilities Timing
      • Issues and sub issues should be:
      • 1. MECE (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive)
      • 2. Logically organised
          • Sub-issues under appropriate issues
          • Sequenced logically
      • 3. Manageable in number
          • 2-5 issues
          • 2-5 sub-issues per issue
      • 4. Key so whats
      The key questions (approximately 2-5) which must be resolved Important elements (approximately 2-5) for each question Description Example
    • Hypotheses are used to drive the process by leveraging stakeholders beliefs to identify the analysis required to solve the issues Thinking Map Analysis Data Sources End Products Responsib-ilities Timing
        • Hypothesis should be
        • 1. A ‘best guess’ answer to each sub-issue
        • 2. A forcing device for developing analyses, but not a ‘prejudged’ answer
        • 3. Chosen to challenge important existing assumptions or biases (eg adopt a different ‘world view’)
      Issues Sub-Issues Description Example Hypothesis One hypothesised ‘best guess’ answer to each sub-issue, to be proven or disproved through analysis Significant opportunities exist to improve value of business to an acceptable level by adopting normal industry manufacturing practices
    • Teams should select analyses that test the hypothesis and for which data sources can be found Thinking Map Analysis Data Sources Issues Sub-Issues Hypothesis Description Example Activities required to prove or disprove the hypothesis in the prior column Identify manufacturing practices of industry leaders Compare with our practices Develop pro forma financial statements with and without manufacturing changes Estimate DCF value The source ormeans of obtaining the data required to complete the analysis Trade journals Interview Managers (names) Competitors (name) Customers (names) Financial Data Internal at (specify) Annual reports (years) Trade associations
      • Analysis and data sources should:
      • 1. Prove or disprove the hypotheses
      • 2. Draw on information:
          • That is objective rather than subjective
          • From reliable sources
      • 3. Be feasible based on existing information, staff, time, and budgets
      End Products Respon-sibilities Timing
    • Explicitly defined end products, responsibilities and timing should serve as an analytical guide for the team and a scheduling and management tool for the project leader Thinking Map Analysis Data Sources End Products Responsib-ilities Timing Issues Sub-Issues Hypothesis End products should: 1. Establish explicit objectives for team members performing analyses 2. Serve as a check that analyses, once completed, support a coherent presentation 3. Aid managing consultant in preparing advance draft of presentation 4. Be strategically assigned to a person or persons and have an estimated time for completion A description of the end product to be delivered Cash flow forecast and estimated value of changes Description Example The person who will obtain the data, undertake the analysis and generate the end product The time required (in days or weeks) to gather the data, complete the analysis, and generate the end product Bach associate (name) Business unit manager (name) 2 weeks after development of list of potential manufact-uring improve-ments
    • D. The Bottom Up Approach to Creating Logical Groupings
      • The Bottom Up approach to creating logical groupings is to end with a MECE structure, but to begin with a laundry list of issues which may be obtained from interviews / workshops etc
      • This approach is powerful in developing insight as it forces the identification of the common characteristics of what may otherwise have been considered disparate issues
      • A MECE structure may be created as the issues are progressively grouped and raised up levels of abstraction
      • The limitation of this approach is need to overcome ‘organisational noise’ and identify the core ideas
    • In a Bottom Up approach a laundry list of issues is collected from workshops, interviews etc with stakeholders
        • Report frequency is inappropriate
        • Inventory data is unreliable
        • Inventory data comes to late
        • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
        • Buyers want reports with better formats
        • Buyers do not want meaningless data
        • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
        • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
    • The laundry list is group according to common characteristics
      • Report frequency is inappropriate
      • Inventory data comes to late
      • Inventory data is unreliable
      • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
      • Buyers do not want meaningless data
      • Buyers want reports with better formats
      • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
      • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
      Complaint Common Characteristic 1. Bad timing 2. Poor data 3. Unhelpful format
    • A logic tree can be constructed to test MECE thinking The sales and inventory system produces an inadequate monthly report Bad Timing Poor Data Unhelpful Format
    • The limitation of this approach is need to overcome ‘organisational noise’ and identify the core ideas
      • In the previous slides we saw that there were eight issues but only three ideas
      • In an ‘live’ situation many of these issues may be considered noise, symptoms of a problem / opportunity
      • The key task therefore is to distinguish between the noise and the core idea that it may infer
      • Making the Bottom Up approach effective therefore is dependent on the process of aggregation of the multitude of issues into a small number of core ideas from which to structure your thinking
    • Managing the movement of ideas between levels of abstraction is a powerful device for identifying exactly what you are talking about
      • The objective is to partition a big idea or problem / opportunity into its smaller components (or vica versa) making the idea easier to understand or the problem / opportunity easier to solve
      • The basic idea behind this is that at some level either the problem / opportunity or its solution becomes relatively clear
      • Issues:
      • The size of the market (volume) Is static
      • Our share of the market is static
      • Competitive forces are pushing prices down
      Up One Level: Price and volume are elements of revenue, and the issues suggest that current and potential revenue is declining Core Idea: The market is unattractive
    • E. Types of Groupings
      • The three ways by which the mind can group ideas are:
      • Structural Order is used when you are trying to describe a real or conceptual object, picture, diagram or process
      • Degree Order is used when issues or ideas are classified as being alike because they possess a characteristic in common
      • Time Order is used when the ideas exhibit cause and effect such steps within a process or system
      • If you cannot find one of these orders in a grouping, it tells you that the ideas do not relate logically, or that your thinking about them is incomplete
      • The use of logical grouping is essential to insight development because it enables you to comprehend the inter-relationships between ideas
    • A. Structural Order is used when you are trying to describe a real or conceptual object, picture, diagram or process
      • Structural order, at its simplest, means that you will describe the pieces of the object, picture, diagram or process as they appear
      • To comprehensively describe the entire ‘thing’ you have to describe all of its components
      • To clearly and accurately describe each of the components you have to describe them independent of one another
      • The concept of MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) is the test of whether both of these things have been done
    • Structural order, at its simplest, means that you will describe the pieces of the object, picture, diagram or process as they appear
      • Example - Diagram of a car
      • The car can be explained by describing the:
        • body panelling;
        • the windows; and
        • the wheels
      • Once there has been a structural breakdown you may look for common characteristics between the components to develop insight. For example if the body had dents, the windows were cracked and the wheels were worn you may conclude that the car was old. This is degree order which we will look at next
      • It should be noted that having created a MECE breakdown, you may move to looking for degree order insight with the knowledge that the imposition of structural order has permitted you to check for flaws and omissions
    • B. Degree Order is used when issues or ideas are classified as being alike because they possess a characteristic in common
      • Degree order is the order imposed upon a grouping when it brings together a set of things you have classified as being alike because they possess a characteristic in common
      • Presentation of degree order grouping is always the strongest first ie: the idea or issue that most possesses the common characteristic
    • Example - Problems with a Monthly Report
      • Buyers are unhappy with the sales and inventory system reports
        • Report frequency is inappropriate
        • Inventory data is unreliable
        • Inventory data comes to late
        • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
        • Buyers want reports with better formats
        • Buyers do not want meaningless data
        • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
        • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
      • Note: This is what is referred to as a laundry list. Ie: a random list of ideas that has not been pre-sorted to enable comprehension by the reader
    • Degree order example reworked in common characteristic groupings
      • Report frequency is inappropriate
      • Inventory data comes to late
      • Inventory data is unreliable
      • Inventory data cannot be matched to sales data
      • Buyers do not want meaningless data
      • Buyers want reports with better formats
      • Buyers want exceptions highlighted
      • Buyers do not want to do manual calculations
      Complaint Common Characteristic 1. Bad timing 2. Poor data 3. Unhelpful format
    • Example Rewritten:
      • The sales and inventory system produces an inadequate monthly report
      • It contains unreliable data
      • It presents it in an unwieldy format
      • It is issued too late to permit action
    • The order that the groupings are presented in reflects a process, and the process is always dependent upon the problem / opportunity or question
      • Question
      • Why does the system produce a useless monthly report?
      • Answer
      • 2. It gathers unreliable
      • data
      • 3. It presents it in an
      • unwieldy format
      • 1. It is issued too late
      • to permit practical
      • action
      Question Why do buyers hate this report? Answer 1. It comes late 3. When they get it they can’t find anything in it 2. When they find it, it is wrong Question How are we going to fix the problem? Answer 3. Decide the data we want and how it should be laid out 2. Make sure that the data included is reliable 1. Make sure we send it out on time
    • Exercise
      • Use degree order to group the following list of issues
      • Sort the groups into a logical order that answers the question, why is central Auckland becoming a less attractive place to live?
      • The causes of central Auckland’s decline are many and complex, and include:
      • Wage rates are no different to the rest of the country
      • A high crime rate
      • High rent, energy and land costs
      • The centres of economic concentration are spreading beyond the CBD
      • Boy racers causing chaos on the weekend
      • Traffic congestion that forces up transportation costs
      • Technological advancements make working from home an alternative
    • Exercise
      • Central Auckland is becoming a less attractive place to live because:
      • 1. It is dangerous (2, 5)
      • 2. Costs have become very high (1,3,6)
      • 3. Attractive alternatives exist (4,7)
      • Note that this may be the order for provided by parents, whereas a university student may put the order 2, 3, 1
    • C. Time Order is used when the ideas exhibit cause and effect such steps within a process or system
      • The complexity of this method of grouping lies in distinguishing cause from effect, particularly when there exist many levels of cause and effect
      • The best way to distinguish cause and effect is to put yourself in the process that you are writing about. Ie: visualise what action you must take before you can take the next, or whether you must take it in order to achieve the next
      • Note that the summary of a set of actions is always the effect of carrying out those actions
    • Example – activities within a project plan
      • The following steps would be undertaken in Phase 1:
      • Interview key management and supervisory personnel
      • Trace and document transactions and workflow
      • Identify all critical functions
      • Analyse organisation structure
      • Understand services and performance measures
      • Assess performance levels of business functions
      • Identify problems and causes
      • Identify and justify potential areas for productivity improvement
    • Example – activities within a project plan (rewritten):
      • In Phase 1 we will identify potential opportunities for productivity improvement: (note the summary is effect of actions)
      • Determine the critical functions of the business (3)
        • Interview key management and supervisory personnel (1)
        • Trace and document transactions and workflow (2)
      • Identify weakness in performing those functions (7)
        • Specify organisation structure (4)
        • Determine services and performance measures (5)
        • Assess performance levels (6)
      • Recommend practical ways to change (8)
    • Exercise – Use Time Order to Create a Grouping of Actions
      • Strategic planning involves the recognition of a timing cycle:
      • Perception of need
      • High cash generation
      • Slower growth and the onset of maturity
      • Development of strategy for creating responsive product/service
      • Market acceptance and high growth
      • Decline/decay
      • Implementation
      Tip: ask yourself “what are these issues really inferring?”
    • Exercise - Answer
      • Strategic planning involves the recognition of a timing cycle:
      • Perception of need
      • Development of strategy for creating responsive product/service
      • Implementation of the strategy
      • Assessment of market reaction
      • Change of strategy to match the reaction
    • F. Deductive and Inductive Logic
      • Deductive logic allows ideas, or groups of ideas to be presented as a series of successive steps based on reasoning that leads to a “therefore” conclusion
      • Inductive logic is based on grouping things that are similar in some way and point to a general conclusion
    • Deductive logic allows ideas, or groups of ideas to be presented as a series of successive steps based on reasoning that leads to a “therefore” conclusion Birds fly I am a bird Therefore I fly I fly because I am a bird A statement about a situation that exists A statement about a related situation that exists at the same time but related to the first because it comments on the subject or its predicate The implication of the two statements existing at the same time
    • Deductive Examples Men are mortal Socrates is a man Therefore Socrates is mortal Volume increases as a result of doing four things well Your present structure makes it impossible for you to do any of these things well Therefore you should correct your present structure Any company that meets these three criteria is worth buying Company A meets these three criteria Therefore Company A is worth buying It should be noted that sometimes putting every step of reasoning may be too pedantic. The answer is to chain two or more arguments together. This is acceptable if the audience will grasp and agree with the missing steps
    • The deductive form can vary Peking is relaxing its attitudes for deliberate foreign policy purposes This return to normal diplomacy could tilt power balances in the Far East In the fact of such changes, the US must stop pretending that China does not exist Statement Comment on the Statement Therefore Scientists are happy to agree to new ideas when they are simply an extension of old ones But they will resist if it means changing the structure of their thought Atomic physics did mean changing the structure of their thought Statement Comment on the Statement Therefore Therefore, they did not readily accept atomic physics Comment on the Statement
    • The deductive form can vary - continued Under central state planning, the state alone will decide who is to have what Thus, the only power worth having is a share in the existing power Therefore, the solution to economic or social questions will depend exclusively on who wields the power Statement Therefore Therefore A soft drink company’s bottlers were thought to have a lot going for them Based on this assessment analysts predicted earnings growth As a result of this prediction, the stock price rose Statement Comment on the Statement Therefore This led to a spate of long-term buy recommendations Therefore
    • Inductive logic is based on grouping things that are similar in some way and point to a general conclusion French tanks are at the Polish border German tanks are at the Polish border Russian tanks are at the Polish border Poland is about to be invaded by tanks 1. Define the ideas in the group 2. Look for similarity in subject 3. Draw inference based upon similarity
    • Deductive and Inductive Logic – The Difference
      • If you are thinking deductively, the second point will always comment on the subject or predicate of the first. If it does not you should be able to classify it by the same plural noun (tanks) to test that you have a proper inductive grouping
      • If neither test is positive, logical argument does not exist
    • Section V - Constructing a SIP Document – Logic in Writing
      • Pyramid Structures
      • The Vertical Relationship
      • The Horizontal Relationship
      The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think. - Edwin Schlossberg
    • A. Pyramid Structures
      • If you accept that the human mind automatically tries to sort information into groups and order to comprehend it, then
      • You must group and order ideas in order to communicate them effectively
      • Grouped ideas form a pyramid at various levels of abstraction
      • Therefore, the clearest written documents present their information top down and in a pyramidal structure
      • Within a pyramid of ideas there are two logical orders: the vertical order and the horizontal order
      • The key to ensuring logical clarity is to place ideas within a pyramid form and test the logical orders
    • Pyramid structures are useful for testing levels of abstraction because they break down and stratify ideas into progressively greater detail
      • To ensure that the tree is explicitly logical, it must obey two rules:
      • 1. Ideas at any level of the tree must be summaries of the ideas grouped below them
      • Ideas in each grouping must be of the same kind and at the same level of abstraction
      • Ideas in each grouping must be logical (deductive or inductive) order
      ROCE EBIT Assets Revenue Costs Fixed Assets Shareholders funds Working capital Price Volume Fixed Variable
    • B. The Vertical Relationship Vertical order within a group of ideas highlights the levels of abstraction by being summaries of the ideas grouped below thereby positioning the reader/audience to respond logically to your ideas Pigs should be kept as pets They could be bred to fascinating variations They are fat They are beautiful They are typically English In types In size In personality In functions They have great curves They create modesty in the owner They are linked to the land They symbolise that power is not inconsistent with kindness So English they deserve to be the national symbol Like the chalk downs Like the beech tree How? Why? How? In what way? How is fat beautiful? How is English beautiful?
    • B. The Horizontal Relationship
      • There must always be a specific reason for the order by which ideas in each grouping are presented. If there is not, you have not thought about them:
        • You may have missed something because your thinking is not structured
        • It will be more difficult for your audience/reader to comprehend what you are trying to communicate
      • Ideas may be order in four ways:
      • Deductively (major premise, minor premise, conclusion)
      • Chronologically (first, second, third)
      • Structurally (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra)
      • Comparatively (first most important, second most important, etc)
    • Section VI - Communicating with SIP
      • The Concept of Simplicity
      • The Stages of Communications Development
        • Stage 1 - Build your story line
        • Stage 2 - Define your audience strategy
        • Stage 3 - Develop your end product
    • A. The Concept of Simplicity
      • The concept of simplicity
      • Simplicity in communication
    • The Concept of Simplicity
      • Simplicity is a value
      • Organisations are full of noise, therefore value may be added by simplifying, not complicating (what justification is there for making something complex when it could be simple) a situation
      • Dealing with complexity is an unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy
      • Simplicity before understanding is simplistic; simplicity after understanding is simple (someone who dismisses something as ‘being too simple’ may simply be demonstrating his or her ignorance of the subject)
      • Oversimplification means you have simplified the matter to much and left out important aspects
      • Simplicity is only easy in hindsight
    • Simplicity in Communication
      • The main aim of communication is clarity and simplicity – therefore a large effort should be expended to achieve this end
      • Communication is always understood in the context and experience of the receiver – no matter what was intended, therefore the choice of language must take this into account
        • Complexity can lead to confusion, however too simple a message might lead to mis-interpretation
      • Oversimplification means you have simplified the matter to much and left out important aspects
      • P99 pyramid principle
    • B. The Stages of Communications Development
      • Stage 1 - Build your story line
        • What questions are you addressing? What are the answers? Does the answer add value?
        • How should you state your main conclusion? What is the best way to support it? Does your story avoid repetition, but cover all the bases?
      • Stage 2 - Define your audience strategy
        • What are your audience’s needs and concerns? What do you want your audience to do or think as a result of your presentation?
      • Stage 3 - Develop your end product
        • What do you need to say to set the scene? How can you ensure that your audience stays with you? Where would visuals help? How can you present your audience with a strong conclusion?
    • Stage 1 - Build Your Story Line
      • Identify your conclusions and recommendations
      • Write a detailed final draft story
      • Decide the governing thought
      • Write your front page
    • 1. Identify your conclusions and recommendations
      • Conclusions are key messages about the subject
        • Limit your conclusions to between 3 and 5 - anymore and you will find that a few of them are at too low a level of abstraction
      • Recommendations are the actions to be taken based upon your conclusions
        • Each conclusion may consist of between 3 and 5 recommendations - anymore and you will find that a few of them are at too low a level of abstraction
      • At this stage your story should have shifted from: Situation, Implication…. To … Situation, Implication and Proposal
    • Successful presentations anticipate the audience’s questions and present the answers in a logical and compelling format
      • Spend some time with your team identifying the range of questions you are likely to encounter. Think about your answers: are they specific enough? Can you back them up with data on the spot? Does your answer further the knowledge of your audience? Will your answers provide enough information to make a decision? The example below is a list of questions and answers anticipated for the presentation on the evaluation of the auto parts market
      What are the most promising opportunities in the auto parts market? Why does the high-value auto parts market warrant our involvement? Establish an supply accessories boutiques at high value auto dealerships Establish clearinghouse for hard-to-obtain specialty parts Establish wholesale facility for after-market discount parts Central point of purchase for high-value autos is dealership; currently dealerships are very marginally stocked with highly profitable accessories Question Answers Value Added Gives broad overview over the team’s recommendations Let’s the audience know the conclusions which have led to your recommendations EXAMPLE
    • Order the recommendations, conclusions, and facts supporting your governing thought into a pyramid, where the point at the top reflects the highest level of generalisation and the tiers at the bottom carry the supporting details Governing thought Recommendations Conclusions There are significant opportunities in the auto parts distribution market Profit margins on out of production parts are extraord-inary Business volume would justify investment No central clearing house currently exists; consumers are on their own Establish clearinghouse for hard-to-obtain specialty parts Owners of high-value autos prefer OEM accessories Existing parts retailers do not offer full assortment of OEM accessories Auto dealership do not fully exploit their marketing opportun-ities Establish wholesale facility for after-market discount parts ‘ Discount’ parts not branded - consumers confused by price/ quality trade-off Opportun-ity exists to consolidate discount market and develop consumer trust Current after market parts distribution highly fragmented and inefficient Establish and supply ‘accessories boutiques’ at high-value auto dealerships Eventually, this pyramid should contain a complete and mutually exhaustive list of your conclusions and the most relevant supporting evidence. In your presentation, resist the temptation to keep your audience in suspense; start your presentation with your governing thought, rather than leading up to it. EXAMPLE
    • 2. Write a detailed final draft story
      • You have successfully structured the problem / opportunity, hurdled the data wall, and arrived at crisp conclusions and recommendations, but you are not yet done. Your team now has to decide how to present this complex material to your audience
      • It is likely that you will have only developed a word flow for the high level summary of your story (although this may be supported by your pyramid of issues and ideas)
      • Now is the time to write out the story in full so that you are able to view it in its entirety. Remember the logic must come before the words, therefore, if your preparation has been well structured, the words will come
    • 3. Decide the governing thought
      • The governing thought is the main message that you want your audience to carry away with them
      • The governing thought is a message at a level of abstraction at which all of the issues that make up the problem / opportunity are covered
    • 4. Write Your Front Page
      • The front page of your SIP document is the highest level summary of the document
      • The front page will have at least 3, but no more than 5 leads
        • Situation – 1 to 2 leads
        • Implication - 1 to 2 leads
        • Proposal – 1 lead
    • Step 2 - Define Your Audience Strategy
      • The amount of ‘incorporation’ required before a presentation is dependent upon the relationship of the audience to the topic of the presentation and any related decisions
      • The content of the presentation must deal to the needs of the audience ie: answer the questions that they would ask
      • Your audience’s profile and its expected receptivity toward your recommendations should determine the structure and style of your presentation
      • Given your audience profile and receptivity, you can chose among a number of formats for your presentation
    • The amount of ‘incorporation’ required before a presentation is dependent upon the relationship of the audience to the topic of the presentation and any related decisions Level of Alignment Description Stand The individual will do anything to make it happen Ownership The individual is completely aligned Support The individual is not completely aligned, but will do anything to help Buy-in In Principle The individual will support you, as long as they continue to agree with what you are saying Resistance The individual openly disagrees with you Sabotage The individual is working against you behind the scenes Apathy The individual does not care
    • The content of the presentation must deal to the needs of the audience ie: answer the questions that they would ask Staff Member Area of Interest Likely Issues Deal with In Presentation 1. 2. 3.
    • Your audience’s profile and its expected receptivity toward your recommendations should determine the structure and style of your presentation Formal Informal Friendly Hostile Neutral Unknown Concepts Facts/analysis Actions/recommendations Oral/visual presentations Informal discussions Full, written documents Primary decision maker Opinion leader Other Thorough knowledge of subject Limited knowledge of subject No knowledge of subject Very interested Somewhat interested Neutral Indifferent Willing to change Somewhat resistant to change Committed to not changing Agreement Disagreement Neutral AUDIENCE ANALYSIS CHECKLIST Overall profile 1. Nature of your relationship with audience 2. Audience’s general attitude toward you 3. Audience’s preferences Receptivity to this communication 4. Audience’s role in action on communication 5. Audience’s preparation for communication 6. Audience’s probably response to this communication Mode Think carefully about the range of options available Support Cover important or controversial points thoroughly; do not belabor the obvious - or past mistakes Style Reflect the tenor of the organisation in your language and manner
      • Unless there is a good strategic reason not to, choose a medium that fits with the style of the audience
      • A close working relationship often makes informal communications appropriate
      • With a resistant audience, a series of meetings may be needed to air concerns and build a case for change
      • An action-oriented audience is less interested in quantitative detail than an analytical oriented audience
      • The primary decision maker needs only his own concerns addressed; an opinion leader needs enough information to persuade others; in general, higher levels of management need less detail than lower levels
      • Earn the right to be informal - use humour with caution
      • A friendly audience may welcome a collaborative tone; a hostile audience may require total objectivity
      • IMPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNICATIONS DECISIONS
    • Given your audience profile and receptivity, you can chose among a number of formats for your presentation Exhibit Deck Discussion Outline (With Or Without Exhibits) Memorandum Overhead Presentation Prose Final Report Videotape Computer Primary objectives Size of audience Benefits Pitfalls/ drawbacks Confirm data; agree on interpretation 1-10 Generates discussion Highlight potential problems, key analyses required Provides no synthesis; is suitable only for working sessions Stress overall story line 1-10 Provides snapshot of logic Facilitates discussion Gets key points across quickly May lead to unsupported assertions; excessive sublevels Explain point of view on given issue Any size Allows amplification of reasons, nuances implications May obscure logic if overwritten Is inappropriate for on-the-spot discussions Build understanding of argument, gain agreement to recommendations 5-25 Provides scope for extensive analytical support Helps control meeting Inhibits discussion May provide poor record Can be dull, overwhelming Ensure understanding of decisions, provide record of engagement Any size Communicates to wide audience Is time consuming, expensive to prepare May not be read Convey images; show rather than tell 1-25 Can be high impact, ‘worth 1,000 words’ Can communicate consistent message to many audiences May be expensive Inhibits discussion Assess analytic results/ implications 1-3 (more with big screen) Allows real time problem solving. ‘What ifs?’ Provides no synthesis, is suitable only for working sessions Outline Memo Lap visual Profits
    • Stage 3 - Develop your end product
      • The logic pack is the vehicle through which you manage your thinking and analysis, it is not a suitable vehicle for communication
      • A well-planned presentation includes a hierarchy of data and conclusions supporting a governing thought; features fluid transitions within, and between, tiers of the pyramid, and is framed by an introduction and an ending
      • A presentation pack should be simple and easy to understand, and as such graphs an models are more effective communicators than text and tables
    • The logic pack is the vehicle through which you manage your thinking and analysis, it is not a suitable vehicle for communication Title Page
      • “ Front Page”
      • Governing Thought
      • Situation Lead
      • Complication Lead
      • Solution Lead
      Lead A
      • Situation Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      • Lead C
      Lead B Lead C
      • Implication Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      Lead A Lead B
      • Proposal Lead
      • Lead A
      • Lead B
      Lead A Lead B
    • A well-planned presentation includes a hierarchy of data and conclusions supporting a governing thought; features fluid transitions within, and between, tiers of the pyramid, and is framed by an introduction and an ending INTRODUCTION ENDING Supporting Evidence Conclusions Recommendations Title Governing thought Transitions
    • The flow of your presentation greatly benefits from the use of introductions, endings, and careful transitions between sections Introductions
      • Introductions serve to set the context for your audience, to remind them of your team’s original mandate, and to get their full attention; typically, and introduction has the following elements
        • State the situation - ‘The task force was asked to look into opportunities in the auto parts market’.
        • Explain the relating complications or question ‘The opportunities for out company involvement depend on 3 crucial factors:
          • size of the market
          • accessibility of the market
          • cost/benefit analysis
        • Summarise the solution - ‘Our company will be able to profitably access a significant portion of the audio parts market’
        • Give a preview of the presentation: ‘The team’s findings will be presented in the following order’
      Transitions
      • Transitions link your ideas into a compelling story. Their function is to
        • Illustrate - ‘For example, for instance, to illustrate’
        • Add - ‘Moreover, in addition, furthermore, similarly, again, also, secondly, finally’
        • Contrast - ‘On the other hand, nevertheless, despite, on the contrary, still, however, conversely, instead, but, yet’
      Endings
      • Endings serve to summarise your presentation and set the stage for future action; the main functions are to
        • Reinforce the main message and supporting conclusions - ‘In summary, opportunities in the auto parts market are concentrated in the following 3 areas’
        • Provide perspective, e.g.
          • Benefits from taking action: ‘Developing an accessories business for high-value auto dealerships will position our company as an innovator in the auto parts distribution field’
          • top management role: ‘Dedication at the highest levels of our companies to help auto dealers further expand their retailing operation swill help to build a successful trust-based relationship’
          • Urgency and timing: ‘Our company should immediately develop a specialty parts clearing house to take advantage of consumer’s dissatisfaction’
          • Outline next steps: ‘To take advantage of this situation, these actions will be necessary’
    • A presentation pack should be simple and easy to understand, and as such graphs an models are more effective communicators than text and tables How to do it wrong A better approach Better still
    • Section VII - Constructing a SIP Document and Presentation
      • The Front Page
      • Subsequent Pages
      • Graphing
    • A. Contents
      • Situation
      • Subject title #1
      • Subject title #2…etc…
      • Implication
      • Subject title #3
      • Subject title #4…etc…
      • Proposal
      • Subject title #5
      • Subject title #6…etc…
      Contents 20 font bold 16 font bold 16 font regular
    • B. The Front Page
      • Situation
      • Bill production has 90 bill cycles per month that are scheduled around systems constraints and contractual arrangements
      • The volume of accounts distributed varies by up to 50k per day and the timing of expected payments varies from 15 to 29 days
      • Implication
      • The variation in volumes contributes to variation in workflows for both the front and back office which impact customer satisfaction and costs by reducing service levels at peak times and requiring a buffer to be built into the schedule to protect against unexpected variance which adds 10% ($4m pa) to staff costs
      • The variation in expected payment means that 85% of all payments are received after 16 days driving a capital cost of $6m pa
      • Proposal
      • Smooth out bill volumes across the calendar month to reduce the variation of workflows, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction
      • Enforce the 15 day payment period
      Smoothing out bill volumes across the calendar month will reduce costs by $4m pa, improve the customer experience and eliminate up to $6m pa in lost interest 20 font bold 16 font bold 16 font regular Line spacing maximised to use page 1cm ‘tab’ indentation from bullet Windings 2, 6 rows down, 10 columns from the left
    • C. Subsequent Pages
      • Blah blah blah
      • Blah blah blah
      Situation Bill production has 90 bill cycles per month that are scheduled around systems constraints and contractual arrangements 20 font bold 18 font bold 16 font regular
    • D. Graphing Situation Sales revenue peak in the third quarter 16 font regular 14 font regular 12 font regular 10 font regular Must have a legend No unnecessary visual noise such as gridlines
    • “ I keep six honest serving men, (they taught me all I know); their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.” - Rudyard Kipling
    • EQuest Consulting contact details: Business Development Manager Tel: 02 9900 9900 EQuest Consulting ABN: 57 092 959 763 www.eqc.com.au [email_address] Sydney Level 8, 153 Walker Street North Sydney NSW 2060 T +61 2 9900 9900 F +61 2 9900 9999 Melbourne St Kilda Road Towers, Suite 443, Level 4 1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004 T +61 3 9863 8466 F +61 3 9863 8467