Sound Advise: Free Your Thoughts From Bullet Points

by Vinaya HS on August 23, 2007

in Business & Management

Thanks for visiting Capital Advisor. I frequently update this blog to cover various topics on personal finance such as investment strategies, financial products that you should buy and ones that you really should stay away from, financial calculators, emerging themes such as early retirement and financial independence, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

Richard Rumelt, a professor of strategy at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, in an interview with the McKinsey Quarterly says:

If I had my way, small [strategy] groups would be absolutely prohibited from doing PowerPoint presentations! Using bullet points so much drives out thinking. One of the nice features of PowerPoint is how fast you can create a presentation. But that’s the trouble. People end up with bullet points that contradict one another, and no one notices! It is simply amazing.

If you ask a group to put aside the bullet points and just write three coherent paragraphs about what is changing in an industry and why, the difference is incredible. Having to link your thoughts, giving reasons and qualifications, makes you a more careful thinker — and a better communicator.

That’s exactly the reason why I use pen and paper while developing a strategy, be it on any topic. The freedom and creativity that pen and paper offer is unmatchable. Subsequently, if not using PowerPoint is not an option, your bullet points will at least be coherent.

Be warned though. The rest of the article is peppered with bad jargon such as “value denials” and “strategy dynamics.”




Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anoop August 23, 2007 at 11:35 AM

so so true..Many times I have used contradictory statements & gotten away with presentations during my Master’s course..:-)

Previous post:

Next post: