Let’s say a company is struggling with profitability.
Let’s say a company is struggling with profitability.Someone might define the problem as “we do not have enough growth.” This is jumping ahead to solutions — the goal may be to drive more growth, but this is not the actual issue. Consider the following information: In a real-life project there will definitely be much more information and a team may take a full week coming up with a problem statement.The more you learn, the easier it becomes to come up with reasons to support the current state of affairs — likely driven by the status quo bias — an emotional state that favors not changing things.
Before doing the work, time should be spent on defining the actual problem.
Too often, people are solutions focused when they think about fixing something.
Both companies have a healthy obsession (maybe not to some people!
) with how things look, how things are structured and how they are presented.
If something is going to be presented live, the simpler the better.
In reality, you are often giving someone presentations that they will read in depth and more information may make sense.It may seem important, but when it comes down to making a slide and a presentation, you end up deleting more information rather than adding.You really need to remember the following: Even in consulting, I found that people struggled with simplifying a message to one key theme per slide.You may need to tweak your hypotheses and structure as you learn new information.A project vacillates many times between these two approaches.However, in consulting there are no rules on the “what.” Typically the problem you are asked to solve is ambiguous and complex — exactly why they hire you.In consulting, you are taught the rules around the “how” and have to then fill in the what.Here is a hypothetical timeline of a project: The next step is taking the structure and research and turning it into a slide.When people see slides from Mc Kinsey and BCG, they see something that is compelling and unique, but don’t really understand all the work that goes into those slides.This involves doing deep research around your problem statement, testing your hypotheses, running different analysis and continuing to ask more questions.As you do the analysis, you will begin to see different patterns that may unlock new questions, change your thinking or even confirm your existing hypotheses.