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Cliff
Reply with quote  #1 

We're conducting Mike's PowerPoint makeover here, and will be engaging the process in this discussion area.

cliff

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Reply with quote  #2 

Mike, let's start with writing Act I of the story template, which I've emailed or is downloadable here.

To make the process easier, let's start with the Solution first.

In a sentence, write a statement in the Solution cell of the story template that says exactly what you want the audience to do or think when they leave the presentation.

Some examples of statements might be:

Adopt the Scorecard approach... Apply this process... Persuade your company to adopt...

When you have that, we can work backward on Act I and then forward on Acts II and III.
cliff

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Reply with quote  #3 
From an email from Mike: "As for the solution, let's shoot for the moon and go with "Persuade your CxO (if you're in IT the CIO, if you're in Finance the CFO, etc.) to adopt the Balanced Scorecard Management System."

Great, Mike.  Let's choose one of these, because the reasons that Balanced Scorecard is important will differ for CXOs, CIOs and CFOs, etc., and we'll need to structure the presentation a bit differently for each. This might seem like more work, but when we finish the presentation for one audience, it will become easier to apply the modular approach for a different audience.

This is important because from the beginning the presentation is not about "balanced scorecard" but about how and why the audience should persuade the CXO to adapt Balanced Scorecard. A subtle distinction, but it has important ramifications as we go along.

So how about:
 
"Persuade your CXO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System"
 
I've added that to the story template on your makeover page, if that works for you.

So next, follow the steps in Chapter 2 and write the four scenes of Act I in the story template. Take a first pass at in, and then I'll offer my two cents...


Mike

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Reply with quote  #4 
Cliff, since I said the presentation was for IT, let's go with "Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard system".

I'll send you an updated word template when I finish the Act 1 topics.
cliff

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Reply with quote  #5 

Great - sounds good.

Mike

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Reply with quote  #6 
Cliff,

I struggled with the various pieces of Act 1, so I played with the story variations you listed at the end of Chapter 2. See if you like any of them better than what I used:

Historical Narrative: Adjusting from the heyday of the 90's to the "do more with less" era required wrenching changes. Moving from merely surviving to thriving requires that you make even greater changes.

Crisis: IT organizations must address the challenges of Nick Carr and outsourcers to thrive in the coming years, but the odds are against you.

Disappointment: Managing technology and looking for killer apps isn't turning heads in the board room any more.

Opportunity: Many businesses have used the BSC to dramatically improve their performance. Your IT organization can do the same.

Crossroads: IT organizations can either accept being just another cost center, or grow to be trusted advisors to executive management.

Challenge: The BSC has helped transform organizations from also-rans to stellar performers. It can work for you, too.

Blowing the Whistle: Nick Carr was right. IT orgs must dramatically deliver and demonstrate business value or forever be viewed as just another cost center.

Adventure: You CAN transform your IT organization from cost center to trusted advisor, but that means changing EVERYTHING.

Response to an Order: Do more with less continues to be the order of the day, but nobody ever shrunk their way to greatness.

Revolution: IT organizations must transform themselves from technology-focused cost centers to business-focused growth catalysts.

Evolution: We've cut all the IT costs that we can; now we need to drive more business results. Here's a way to plan and execute such a strategy.

The Great Dream: It's time for IT organizations to climb out of their fortified bunkers and show that they ARE able to drive strategic advantage. Here's one way to devise your battle plan.

And yes, I realize they're all too long! I look forward to your feedback.
cliff

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Reply with quote  #7 
Mike - you did an amazing exploration of the different story types! It may have been hard, but what a great exercise to help you mine and refine the depth of your story. 

I actually sent the link to your post to Henry Boettinger, who came up with those story variations (p. 41) in his 1969 book Moving Mountains - I'm sure he will consider it a compliment that his work is experiencing a renaissance through your presentation. If you can get a used copy of his out-of-print book, I highly recommend it.

I've posted my suggested edits/comments to your story template on your page. Basically what I did was start from your beginning and weave in some ideas from your story exercise above - I'll also paste them here without the detailed comments that are posted in the Word doc.
  1. The IT profession today is weathering great storms of change
  2. You can ignore the situation and hope the storm passes through
  3. But the trends are pointing toward IT becoming a mere cost center
  4. Turn the tide by aligning yourself with an executive mindset
  5. Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System

What do you think?  Is this close to what you had in mind?

Mike

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Reply with quote  #8 
Cliff,

I could have stared at my ideas for a few more days and not created anything nearly as eloquent as your text! Marvelous distillation, and you've set up a couple of motif possibilities.

I don't know what your consulting rate is, but your clients certainly get their money's worth!


The Boettinger book is on my list to track down. Sounds like I can learn a great deal from it.

Look for the 3 why's soon.

Mike
cliff

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Mike!  Looking forward to Act II.
tartle

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Reply with quote  #10 
The alternative story lines you have composed have helped me really understand the chapter 2 descriptions. It really helps to be able to read other people's makeovers and compare and contrast. I have located a copy of the book in UK.. should have it early next week!
Thanks

__________________
Jim R
cliff

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Reply with quote  #11 

Mike - Henry Boettinger had some comments about your story structures, pasted below:

Cliff,
Mike has grasped the central idea brilliantly! His examples show how choice of the code word determines the overall structure and selection of components, evidence and argument for the presentation. If you don't do this, diffusion results and concentration of the audience disappears. It is similar to a playwright not knowing whether he is writing a comedy, tragedy, history or farce. If he doesn't make that clear at the start, no audience will stand for it.
Regards,
Henry

Mike

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Reply with quote  #12 
Cliff,

I'm not dead; just having a very busy week.

Please pass along to Henry my appreciation of his kind words. As I said previously, trying the various story types was very helpful.

I'm having some trouble with Act 2. Specifically, I'm having difficulty balancing the 'tree', particularly when I get to the 45 minute column. I've got a couple of alternatives for the 5 minute version. One is based on my original Elevator Pitch, which is slide 2 of the original presentation. In it, I ask three questions:
1) If you ask five managers to write down the top three initiatives of you organization, how many distinct answers would you get?
2) Are there any initiatives anywhere in the organization not aligned to corporate goals?
3) Are there any departments optimizing their own efficiency rather than the overall organization's?

I can turn these question around into statements and use them, but I end up spending way more time on 1) than 2) and 3), because I spend more time there explaining how the BSC works.

A second alternative would be to use the IT-specific benefits of the BSC from slide 27 of the original presentation:
1) Clarifies alignment with the business
2) Demonstrates in factual terms the value add of IT
3) Provides a business-oriented basis for IT decision making

I kind of like these better, because they fit the Act 1 story better, but I run into the same imbalance problem.

All of this is a long-winded way of asking if it's okay to NOT be balanced (presentation-wise)?
cliff

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Mike,

Just as I'm sure it's important to keep your Scorecard balanced, it's also important to keep the cognitive load of your presentation balanced, too.  The structure of the template imposes a discipline that helps you to ensure you keep that balance.  That said, there's plenty of room for improvising on it, after the fundamental architecture is in place.

I know you want to keep the Questions technique (you call this the 'interaction opportunity' - nice), but keep in mind that asking a question is one technique (of many) that you might apply at any point in the presentation, after you've created the structure.  You might ask a question in Act I to initially engage your audience, and you might do it several times more throughout the presentation to continually keep them engaged.  But let's save that discussion for the Storyboarding phase after we finish the Story Template.

If we're running into a problem with Act II, it's likely because we need to revisit Act I and make some adjustments there:
  1. The IT profession today is weathering great storms of change
  2. You can ignore the situation and hope the storm passes through
  3. But the trends are pointing toward IT becoming a mere cost center
  4. Turn the tide by aligning yourself with an executive mindset
  5. Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System

I've boldfaced the Solution statement because I think this might be what is giving us the problem here. The issue may be that there are actually several presentations emedded in your current presentation that are asking to be liberated.  Looking at your slides, there are many ways you could go with this presentation - which of these (or another option if these don't apply) would you choose:

  1. Is the purpose of this presentation to help the IT folks in the audience to persuade their boss to adopt Balanced Scorecard?  (Giving them the tools to be change agents?)
  2. Or, is this presentation really for the CIO directly, to persuade him/her to adopt the system?  (Giving an executive the tools to make a decision?)
  3. Or, are you assuming their organization already wants to do it, and you're showing them how to apply it to their organization? (Giving managers the tools to go implement this?)

Choosing one of the three will start a process of selecting and prioritizing the existing information on a particular pathway that is distinct from the others. Each presentation may contain similar informational elements, but they will each be structured differently.

 

So let's revisit Act I, above.  Is the Solution statement we have now accurate, or is there another focus from the list above that is a better fit? Or a new one that's not in the list?

Mike

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Reply with quote  #14 
Cliff,

I thought I had been focusing on the purpose you labeled #1 - Giving them the tools to be change agents. Reviewing your alternative purposes makes me realize that there is a lot of material in the original presentation that is HOW TO IMPLEMENT oriented, and not appropriate to purpose #1.

For the chosen purpose I need to give the audience just enough information about key BSC concepts to facilitate their understanding of WHY the BSC is different from other management systems and WHY these difference make the BSC work so well.

It's a classic technologist's blind spot. I don't need to teach someone how to fly a plane to help them convince their organization to use airlines in their business travel program.

Thanks for the whack on the side of the head!
cliff

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Reply with quote  #15 
Great, Mike.

If comparison to other management systems is a central theme, we should probably still tweak Act I a bit to address that, specifically in the Imbalance and Imbalance in lines 3 and 4 below.  Maybe something like:
  1. The IT profession today is weathering great storms of change
  2. You can ignore the situation and hope the storm passes through
  3. Many management systems can be valid navigational tools
  4. The best system will guide your business strategy with precision
  5. Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System

Then we can build Act II off of the Solution statement:

 

Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System (why?)

  1. It can help your organization do a better job of...
  2. It delivers more effective...
  3. It more closely aligns IT with your company's strategic goals...

When you have these three high-level points, then we'll tack a "how?" at the end of each of them and then move to the 15-minute column...

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