The 44th Edition - On Presenting to Executives, 5 Skills of Innovators and When To Choose Which Go-to-Market Channel
Did you know this about the original iPhone?
Thanks for reading Sunday 1-1-2-3 with George! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Did you know that the original iPhone lacked cut/copy/paste functionality? Ken Kocienda, the inventor of iPhone autocorrect, lacked time to do it properly. Keyboard, autocorrect, and text system work were overwhelming. The design team lacked time. So they skipped this feature in version 1.0. (source)
Read: How To Present To Executives
You know how difficult it is to present to executives.
As an executive, you must make quick decisions.
As a presenter, you want your ideas accepted.
When do both sides ever get what they want?
There is no fluff in this article.
If you’re an executive, pass it on to your subordinates.
If you’re presenting, read it.
A few outtakes from me:
Your goal is always to extract as much perspective from the executive as possible. If you go into the meeting to change their mind, you’ll probably come across as inflexible. Go into the meeting to understand how you can align with their priorities. You’ll come across as strategic and probably leave with enough information to adapt your existing plan to work within the executive’s newly articulated focuses or constraints.
Start by brainstorming your proposal into a series of arguments that support your answer.
Once you’ve written them all down, group them into related arguments.
Shape those groups into three top-level arguments, with up to three sub-arguments supporting each of those top-level arguments.
Recursively apply this approach, ensuring each argument summarizes its at-most-three sub-arguments.
Order the arguments within each group by descending importance.
At that point, you’re done.
After you’ve written your structured document, gather feedback on it from your peers and stakeholders. Aligning with stakeholders before your presentation, sometimes called
nemawashi, is extremely effective at reducing surprises. Some of your peers should have experience presenting to the executives and will have useful feedback on improvements.
If you present a problem to an executive without a proposed answer, then in the back of their mind, they’re wondering if they need to hire a more senior leader to supplement or replace you.
Watch: How to Make Your Communication Memorable
Wouldn’t it be amazing if all communication carried as much signal is as few packets as possible?
What if our documents and presentations could plug into each other like LEGO bricks? Imagine an executive dashboard made of high-quality signal ideas. You arrange them in your own unique ways and out comes a brilliant new path.
I’m dissecting a few long-form talks on presenting and communication that sticks, this being my favorite so far:
People in hierarchies talk upward and listen upward: They send more messages upward than downward, they pay more attention to messages from their superiors than to ones from their subordinates, and they try harder to establish rapport with superiors than with subordinates.
Paul Nystrom, William H. Starbuck (source)
Given that technical debt arises from human communication problems, and not in fact any technical problem, the first component of the solution is to stop focusing on the software altogether and instead focus on the culture of the organization. Everyone is happier when they have the trust of their peers. And happier teams produce better business outcomes.
Sam McAfee (source)
What Go-to-Market Channels To Use & When
Strategies That You or Your Company Cannot Execute on Are Useless
Recall the explicit call out to capabilities in Roger Martin's “Playing To Win”.
5 Skills of Innovators
Prototyping to Learn
How would you rate this week's newsletter? 🤔
If you found this newsletter valuable, consider sharing it with friends, or subscribing if you haven’t already.
Have a great week ahead & see you next week.