September 27, 2015

Pick a number


Inside the organisation, every number has a story.

Price comes from somewhere; maybe it’s your gut telling you what the market will stand, or competitor comparisons, or game theory, or cost plus, or it came to you in a dream.

Production volumes this month were x for y reasons.

Sales were up (or down). Why’s that?

The project is running two weeks ahead (or behind) schedule. Because?

Every number that earns its place on a spreadsheet has a reason to exist and a story to tell. None exists in a vacuum.

Thing is … if you don’t share the reasons, the people who see and experience the reality of the numbers every day, can feel like they live in a vacuum.

Two possible outcomes: they won’t care because it’s abstracted from their day to day, or they worry about its dark secret. Neither reaction is good.

When you explain a number with its story, everyone gets invested. They don’t see the digits, they see the reasons behind them, the who does what that’s connected to the dots, how they can influence them and all the other numbers they throw off.

There’s more to a number than its absolute value. Share its story.

Skippy Strategy: Pick a number. Paint it large.