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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Best Tool

Starting a company?

Selling a company?

Trying to resolve a thorny problem?

Trying to UNDERSTAND a complex problem?

Make a list.

Seriously, start writing a list. In the last two days I’ve been amazed how half a dozen impasse situations were improved by somebody writing a list.

Now because I’m a hotshot consultant, let me improve on perfection.

For two of the lists, I was in meetings when someone asked for my thoughts. I was hungry, or had a tee time, so I said I would send it to them.

Right there in each meeting, I started making an outline, based on the discussion leading up to the request. That wasn’t hard, everybody else was interrupting each other.

I left, went on golfin’ safari, and forgot about them. Came back a week later, and there were my outlines, looking up at me, expecting further work.

My process is to start from an electronic stationery template, improves my vocabulary, keeps me from using a contraction for firetruck. I also figure anything I write will be public soon enough, so better to establish who wrote it.

In each case filling in the outline took less than an hour and the result was a new area defined, with reasons and recommendations, assets and methods. Sent each off to the customers.

Three other lists were sent to me, from Maryland and California, as my associates define what they see, hear, and think. There weren’t any big words or suspect statistics, just recall, observations, and recommendations.

I was privileged to be on the distro list, because these guys are sharp. I realized we were all creating value just by formalizing the conversations through a second draft. As Jack told us, “Writing is evidence of thinking.”

That’s five, I promised six.

What’s the best way to create a blog post?

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