Reporting on activities vs problem statements & outcomes

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Recently I was invited to be part of a review meeting for some corporate initiatives. The team members made a presentation that had a list of activities they were doing, the status of those activities & the planned next steps. This presentation would later be made to the senior management as part of a larger change management initiative.

What I observed was that the complete focus of the presentation and the thought process was on “activities they were doing and not on why they were doing what they were doing“. Somehow the purpose of the activities they were doing, the problem statement on what they were trying to solve, what were the business benefits, what outcomes they were looking at, how would the next steps scale or be fed into organizational processes — in short the bigger picture was not at all there.

In my opinion; the aim of reporting, for any change management program initiative, should be to make the message viral and memorable. One of the key success criteria of reporting on change management initiatives should be to make the message reach the corridor & hallway conversations (in a +ve manner). This becomes more important if the presentation & reporting is for senior management who are crucial in propagating the message further.

So, ensure that the first slide of your reporting/presentation is about the bigger picture, problem statement, the why, business benefit, outcomes…. and only then state the activities you are doing for the above. That will make your audience get it — in a dumb proof way and the message can be propagated further without dilution.

If you are not doing that, then reporting (on just activities) is purely for the sake of reporting & all you will hear in the hallways would be: “yeah they seem to be doing something… but..

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