Corporate Strategy: The Power of a Good Graphic


The Fortune 50 among you may find this simplistic and redundant to your normal operating paradigm. Before you get too smug, I remind you how the concept of the “marketure slide” can go horribly wrong; like when it is your ONLY job to produce slides and you attack it with single mindedness forgetting that the audience is NOT you. What I am talking about here is the power of producing a graphic that brings consensus, encompasses the value of the company and clearly points to the future direction of the company.

We work with clients that struggle to find a cohesive direction and battle, on a daily basis, the fog of market acceptance. With so much input at management meetings, and so many opinions being offered, confusion and misinterpretation is standard. The more intelligent the staff the more complicated things can get. It is the usual case that ideas and concepts discussed don’t really get written down. Best practices dictate that if you can’t write it down then it is no good or too complicated to impact people. The writing down can be in the form of a business plan (ouch!) or in a single graphic.

Creating a graphic that encompasses the entire business direction and still be understandable to anyone looking at it is an art (Recommendation: Edward Tufty should be standard reading for all management). Throw out the engineering flow charts. Constrain the artistic side a bit and limit colors, shapes, overlapping images and bizarre fillers. Do bring mission, product direction, customer needs and unchallenged market advantage into the graphic. Make sure your idea person gets a crack at it first. This is usually the person who has a holistic view of the business. The graphic should be understandable to not only your employees but your potential strategic partners with minimal explanation.

Produce a good “marketure slide” and you will have everyone around the room nodding their head in agreement and moving in the same direction. It will rapidly become company lexicon.

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