This will also allow you to see which of your teammates read the reporting doc and which didn’t.”. 3. Executive attention spans are notoriously short – don’t make your point in the first 10 seconds, and you’ve already lost your audience. The Pyramid Principle is a structure to present your synthesis in an effective and convincing manner. That’s where the Pyramid Principle comes in. Instead, he felt he had to demonstrate his intellect by telling them about all 25 options that might work, in a semi-organized list. Structure the case conclusion recipient-friendly by applying the Pyramid Principle Use the pyramid structure to provide syntheses and recommendations at the end or in between your case interviews. The Pyramid Principle was created by Barbara Minto, who headed training for McKinsey & Company back in the ’70s. You can use your wiki page’s comments to prompt engagement and discussion about this data. Another upside to mastering how to craft coherent ideas, is that executives are keenly aware of how hard it is to do what you’ve demonstrated. My preferred story structure for presentation, e-mail or blogging was previously S-C-Q-A: Situation, Complication, Question and Answer – also known as The Minto Pyramid Principle. What’s nice about The Pyramid Method is that you’re conveying bite size morsels of information that can easily fit on a slide, in a chapter, or in a section of a report that an executive—or functional leader—can quickly absorb. You’ve started a question and answer dialogue (drawn from ancient techniques, like the Socratic Method). How often have you had to decide between unloading a ton of content or dumbing down the message to communicate it quickly? Repost. There are six skills you need to learn in order to succeed in the world of consulting. The idea is to start with your main idea, and then use logically grouped arguments to support your position. Barbara Minto‘s “The Minto Pyramid Principle” is a how-to guide for writing concise reports in a management consulting firm that has been around for years.I wrote a one sheet summary of her book over a decade ago that I still sometimes find to be a useful aid for writing. What is the Pyramid Principle? My free guide explains what they are and how to develop them. Note that the question above is over simplified – in practice, a good question is often more subtle and the result of analysis to ensure the right question is asked. Here’s what your Pyramid Principle-driven presentation intro might look like: “For years, Hot Fire Shoes has shown a steady increase in yearly revenue and profitability.”. tl;dr - it's worth reading Barbara Minto's The Pyramid Principle.. Barbara was. We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom that says if you want to advance in your career, then you have to work hard. You’ve made the dilemma immediately clear to everyone in the room. In vertical relationships, the supporting points (the base) need to answer the question raised by the statement above (the tip). Recommended for you. The pyramid principle was invented by Barbara Minto at McKinsey. The Pyramid Principle is Barbara Minto’s powerful and compelling process for producing everyday business documents. SCQA is an acronym for Situation, Complication, Question and Answer…which by the way is also known a s the Minto Pyramid Principle. Lectures by Walter Lewin. In a follow-up post, we will look at an example of applying the tool on a business news article. © 2021 Jeff Kavanaugh. The Pyramid Principle allows you to have your cake and eat it, too – all the content, and easily digestible. If this were a story, however, we would list our main points in chronological order. The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto 1. Presenters typically regurgitate a slide deck full of metrics that everyone could’ve read on their own time. SCQ Framework SM The Minto Pyramid Principle® is the powerful and compelling process for producing everyday business documents – to-the-point memos, clear reports, successful proposals, or dynamic presentations.. Minto Books International, Inc. 19 Cadogan Place London SW1X 9SA UK Tel: +44 (0)207 235 6274 Fax: +44 (0)207 823 1827. Coined by Barbara Minto, a former McKinsey consultant, the Minto Pyramid Principle is a writing framework that suggests structuring information in a pyramid format. Then you arrange the information in a way that your audience can rapidly process. Personally, I like three to five because that gives you room to be wrong on one or two options. The Pyramid Principle Training module This document is part of a set of supporting material available for download upon purchase of Strategy Execution Heroes by Jeroen De Flander (isbn 978-908148731-3) . Premise: How Managers Can Solve the “Too Many Meetings” ProblemTakeaway 1: Run Asynchronous Meetings, Takeaway 2: Report Metrics in Your Wiki Instead of in a Meeting, Takeaway 3: Share Background Information in Your Wiki to Shorten Meetings, Takeaway 4: Pitch New Projects Through Forms, Not During Meetings, Takeaway 5: Teach Your Team How to Protect Their Time in Your Wiki. Twenty-five options are way too many choices for busy executives. If you want to move up the ranks from in any business, then you need to master a critical skill beyond work ethic: the ability to communicate more information, more clearly, in a limited amount of time. The Pyramid Principle will show you how to communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly. Minto's book also gives us the MECE rule and the publication's contents have become ubiquitous in consulting and are often being repackaged for audiences in other areas. You’ve established your familiarity with their company, established a positive atmosphere, and set the stage for your story. Put in simpler terms, it starts with asking for what you want, and explaining why you want it.  Absolutely, though in a different way. If you’re wrong, it will make your thinking clearer, so that a listener can point out the flaw in your logic and collaboratively provide you constructive feedback. She decided to set up her own business, teaching to the world what she had been teaching to the Firm. We’ve all experienced the pain these meetings inflict. The question you raise needs to have answers that are mutually exclusive and completely exhaustive, otherwise known in business lingo as MECE. What Is the Minto Pyramid Principle? Source: The Pyramid Principle Dear Shirley, Remember last Saturday afternoon when I was playing in the park with my boyfriend and you came over, and he told me that when my back was turned, Barbara Minto reveals that the mind automatically sorts information into distinctive pyramidal groupings. In the consulting world, we accomplish this with The Pyramid Principle. Neither option overlaps with the other, so they are, , and there are no major paths to profitability that fall outside of either category, so they are also, Personally, I like three to five because that gives you room to be wrong on one or two options. Notice how each section boasts a sound logic that’s easy to follow? The same is true with your audience. Research from George Miller has shown a human being can hold about 7 items in their short-term memory, and for some people it is even less. So, start collecting that attention — by cutting to the chase. Minto Books International, Inc. 19 Cadogan Place London SW1X 9SA UK The Pyramid Principle Training module Dit document is onderdeel van een set ondersteunend materiaal dat ter download wordt aangeboden aan kopers van Strategiehelden door Jeroen De Flander (ISBN België 978 90 4860 959 8 - ISBN Nederland 978 90 4700 410 3). My revised thoughts (2016) shown in red color.. Consultants must structure their thinking. In business, you have a few minutes to get your point across before a busy executive stops paying attention to you. It is now widely part of the toolkit every strategy consultants around the world needs to learn and use. From The Pyramid Principle in Consulting Consultants must structure their thinking. Minto Pyramid Principle, also referred to as the McKinsey’s Pyramid Principle, is a Pyramid Structures. You see, it’s not just about working hard. I also work as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Dallas, where I help business school students develop the skills necessary to thrive in consulting and industry roles. at getting all the new recruits to go from hot-shot, straight-from-campus hires to expert consultants in the shortest amount of time. Good stories don’t just dump information on their audiences, they begin by crisply describing a situation, creating a mental picture in the mind of the audience. This means restructuring answers into the right scopes and right descriptions. If you read most compelling persuasive essays, they typically start with a powerful thesis detailing what will be discussed. For the Love of Physics - Walter Lewin - May 16, 2011 - Duration: 1:01:26. You need to tell your stories in a way that models the way people process information. Communicating the thinking requires only that you guide the reader down the pyramid.” In other words, we can break down the Pyramid Principle into three main points: 1. ”, Last comes the “how.” Check out the tips we dish out in our example section below.“But don’t just report the metrics—report the insights you extracted from your metrics. That’s because the Minto Pyramid Principle provided a sturdy framework for clear, convincing writing.If you’re wondering how we ordered our main points, we approximated how much our audience would value each takeaway and ranked them from most helpful to least helpful. Next, we dive into the section’s “why.” Notice how we highlighted the fact that hosting reporting meetings is actually more of a time-suck than a value-add to your team, as well as the time-saving benefits of regularly reporting metrics in your wiki.“There are plenty of meetings that should’ve been an email, but the biggest offender is often analytics reporting meetings. If I handed you a list of 25 options, you’d have no chance of making a smart decision. Like any good story, you introduce a complication to highlight the conflict, the problem or opportunity that affects the situation. Let’s pretend a shoe company (which I’ll refer to as Hot Fire Shoes) hired you as a consultant. Then, each of your “whats,” or key points, will branch out from your premise. The pyramid principle was invented by Barbara Minto at McKinsey. If your answers aren’t mutually exclusive, the lines become blurred, and clients may become confused and try clarify your logic on the fly. One of the best, yet relatively unknown tools to help you hold the attention of executives (or any audience) is The Pyramid Principle. The nature of these documents vary depending on your role–strategies, presentations, memos, announcements, email, etc–but your written word often becomes your most important medium of communication. At that point you’ve already lost their attention, andwhatever momentum you had. This is a key tenet of both effective information analysis and communication to your audience. For most of us, the Minto Pyramid Principle is the opposite of what our high school English teachers and college professors taught us. You’re not looking for a one-size fits all solution here.  The top of the pyramid is a statement, with the supporting base of the pyramid ready to provide answers to the questions the statement raises. In fact, according to research from Nielsen, websites only have 10-20 seconds to grab a user’s attention.However, there is a silver lining that you can pluck from that unfavorable statistic. The Minto Pyramid Principle Then came the 1973 Oil Crisis, leaving in its wake a troubling economic situation in the U.K. and a major force reduction in the London office. One of the reasons The Pyramid Principle is so effective is that it uses vertical relationships. Coined by Barbara Minto, a former McKinsey consultant, the Minto Pyramid Principle is a writing framework that suggests structuring information in a pyramid format.  Completely exhaustive means you have included every possible answer. The Pyramid Principle. “This quarter, Hot Fire Shoes’ profitability unexpectedly flat lined for the first time in company history.”. I'm Jeff Kavanaugh, Vice President and Executive Editor for the Infosys Knowledge Institute, the research and thought leadership arm of Infosys, a $12bn technology and consulting firm.  The answer or recommendation is then provided as the resolution, the (hopefully) happy ending to the story. In this example section, our “what,” or main takeaway, is “report metrics in your wiki instead of in a meeting,” which is also the section header. This is something Derek, a true genius who I thought would change the game for my firm, couldn’t grasp. 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