I had my Jerry Maguire moment yesterday during an interview. It certainly wasn't the fault of the interviewee, but something snapped in me as he mentioned the skill of "storytelling." My reaction to this was probably so visceral because I have used that exact terminology a million times in capability meetings and presentations. And, I have gone even further using words like data curation, the art of storytelling, crafting, story arc, and countless others.
But it occurred to me (suddenly and without warning), that I'm not writing a fairy tale and wouldn't it be nice if I could just tell someone the answer rather than weaving it into a story? Who has times for stories right now?
My husband once told me that if you can't explain your job with a crayon and a piece of paper you are over complicating it. I feel the same way about insights. One of the most powerful things we do at Murphy Research is require all analyst to summarize each project into one slide. When we instruct people to do this, they often think this will be one of the easier steps in our rigorous process, but it turns out brevity is hard.
I'm starting a movement- I want to be the pied piper of fewer slides and less build up. I'm happy to provide you the context, but maybe the answer without the pomp and circumstance would be nice too. Join me, and let's live happily ever after together in a world with fewer plot twists and more straightforward answers.
This is your invitation to complain and vent about what you don't want anymore in your presentations and reports. To tell us to take our pie charts and shove them… so, have at it and then let's work together to go beyond stories and to start living in a world of answers.