Too often, people tend to solve problems by taking two divergent directions:
- They think of an idea — and zip off in that direction with no real assessment or planning. Measure once, cut twice.
- They over-analyze their problem to death without taking action. Analysis-Paralysis.
The hardest part of any initiative or project is usually getting everyone on-board – mentally and physically. You need the go-ahead and the willing resources to make it happen.
Here’s a simple way of presenting your case – not only to yourself to fully analyze each permutation, but to convince all parties that you’re on the right track. I learned this method over 20 years ago during my Six Sigma/QAT training at ADVO. So here goes:
1. Start by defining the Current State. What is the current situation right now? What’s been happening? Use metrics to clearly define the situation and make it real for all involved.
2. Then illustrate the Impact of the Current State if nothing is done. What is the eventual outcome of doing nothing? How much money, time, and resources will be wasted?
3. Hit them with the Desired State. Show yourself and your audience what nirvana is. Show them the money, the time savings, and piles of gold that would rain down from the heavens.
4. Finally, present your Solution (or solutions). Once you’ve defined the problem, shown them the promised land, show them how your solution will solve all of your current state problems and quickly deliver your desired state.
What are you really doing here? You’re telling them a story — and people LOVE stories. It’s simple, straightforward, and based on facts.
You see, the hardest job anyone will every have in business is convincing people over to their way of thinking. Why? Because emotions, fear, and ego get in the way.
Using this method, you slowly and factually take them through your thinking and getting them to nod their heads “Yes” during the entire process. By the time you present your solution, they have fully bought into your presentation.
P.S. Hope you like. BTW – this type of presentation also works well with sales — in-person and even on your website. Show them the current state, the impact of doing the same thing, then illustrate the desired state and deliver your solution. It’s simple, easy and works every time.