Clear thinking and clear communications are vital skills in business and in life. Being able to define and solve problems and to communicate your solutions to others are the foundations to success in any field.

Yet these skills are not often formally taught. As a result, many presentations, whether developed by business-school students or by executives, are ineffective. Poorly defined objectives, unclear messages, fuzzy logic and confusing visuals abound.

This workshop does not propose to fully remedy this problem. But it will make you aware of the need to plan problem solving and communications and equip you with basic tools to do so.

While the techniques we will cover are derived from those employed by strategy consultants, they have been adapted for easier accessibility and broader applicability.

Learning outcomes

In this session you will:

  • Gain awareness of the flaws and risks in our “spontaneous” problem-solving approaches
  • Learn to use a structured problem-solving process
  • Learn through experience to apply the approach and tools by working on several small cases and one “core case”
  • Practice effective communication of analyses and recommendations

At the end of the session, participants will have been introduced to basic tools and techniques that will help them to:

  • Define the problem to be solved (problem statement)
  • Structure a problem and prioritize its components (issue tree and hypothesis tree)
  • Develop a storyline to guide communications and adapt it to the audience (storylining)
  • Plan a storyboard and use charts effectively (key rules of chart drawing)