David Jefferson has been an enthusiastic promoter of Barbara Minto’s Pyramid principle starting on the third day of her brilliant course delivered to Unilever managers. During day one he didn’t ‘get it’ at all, but as he says, ‘When the light goes on, there is no turning back. The Pyramid lessons have driven my approach to everything I’ve written since that day, and I’ve helped others to learn it too.’
For anyone who regards himself as a rational thinker, understands statistics and probability, uses data analysis and modelling to uncover innovative solutions to clients’ problems, believes fervently that change management is about people, and writes what he believes to be scientifically sound reports, the Pyramid Principle comes as a bit of a shock. David is an engineer and management consultant, but has also been IT Director of a major engineering firm and Managing Director of a software company so he has experienced the ‘advice process’ from both sides of the table.
The Pyramid Principle brought about a fundamental change of direction in his understanding of how to communicate complex ideas that require management action and have substantial commercial impact. With David’s help you will understand.
If you are looking to become a more effective communicator; the first principle of the method is to recognise that the logic by which you reach your conclusions is a kind of path that may be ‘scientifically sound’, is probably intuitively pleasing to your mind, but possibly uniquely so. Accept that if other minds work differently they need to follow different paths (with your help as author) so that when they see the conclusion they so completely believe it that they take action.
The Pyramid Principle is the toolkit that helps you construct those paths and get that commitment. It’s difficult to make this transition sitting ‘by the fire’ reading the book. Why? Because you need collegial, tutorial and experiential support to give up your ‘old ways’ and authentically apply the new.
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