This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated

Franklin D Roosevelt is credited with telling anyone doing public speaking to "Be sincere, be brief, be seated".  In the video below, Bill Dettmer throws out this quote in talking about his time in the military, doing briefings for various commanders.

And then we have the Theory of Constraints logical thinking processes that are anything but brief.  It's one of the frustrations for people who build these logic diagrams.  Dettmer's Logical Thinking Processes has an appendix that talks about an "Executive Summary Tree" that takes a detailed Current Reality Tree (CRT) and simplifies it for presentation and discussion with others.  

I like this concept.  It's been one of my frustrations - and it has been one of the things I like about how people do this well.  They essentially build up the executive summary in conversation - and expand those sections which aren't clear to people as they talk.

Here is the high level overview on how to do this:

Step 1 - Do a proper CRT with the complete solution. Probably over 30 items. It must be robust / completely finished).
Step 2 - Identify the UnDesirable Effects or UDEs at the top
Step 3 - Identify the few critical root causes at the bottom
Step 4 - Identify the main causal paths between
Step 5 - Identify where the paths converge
Step 6 - Identify the 2 or 3 key intermediate entities. They represent the longest leap of logic you believe the executives can understand.

The resulting Executive Summary Tree should have about a dozen items.


Navel gazing - responsibility is the point

Knowledge doesn't equal Understanding