How Big is Your Napkin?

What's Your Napkin Strategy?Can you fit your strategic plan on a single paper napkin? Would it help if you got to pick what size napkin?

Do you believe for a strategic plan to be worth its expense, that it has to be as big as a major city’s phone book. Add an operational plan and you may have two phone books! Results management for those plans might look like the instrument panel of a 747. You know the captain can’t watch all of the cockpit gauges…so what do you think he or she chooses to keep an eye on?

Decades ago Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, and many other major works about business stated: “Business is simple… it’s about making things and selling things.” If you had only a napkin, a pencil and the challenge to use your own words and drawings to represents how your business makes and sells things, what would you put on that napkin? Try it! Then see if you can make sense of what’s on the napkin in a presentation to a prospective client.

Team: Together, Everyone, Achieves, More!You can read The New York Times to see how financial planner Carl Richards explains the basics of money using napkin drawings. Some of the best ideas have been hatched during a lunch and took shape on a simple paper napkin. That reality became so pervasive at LMI that we started calling our best sales presentations “napkin presentations”.

A napkin presentation can stand out as a refreshing change of pace from glossy pamphlets and Power Point shows. We would be very happy to show you how it’s done!

Why do I believe a napkin presentation can be so compelling?

To me, the words on that napkin are the distilled essence, the core of your business purpose. If you practice Keep It Short and Simple, you’ll know how to put words and pictures on your napkin to communicate your main idea. Construct words and figures from your (well-rehearsed) memory and spontaneously produce your vision, purpose or mission in front of your next client and on such an unlikely paper surface as a napkin. Turn garbage into inspiration!

When successfully demonstrated, the humble napkin presentation becomes a work of art, and an effective communication tool when meeting with your clients.

This entry was posted in Communicating, Organizational Analysis and tagged , by Allen Raffetto. Bookmark the permalink.
Allen Raffetto

About Allen Raffetto

Allen M. Raffetto, Ph.D., the group’s founder, brings together psychology and business for clients throughout North America. He has worked extensively with companies in the Midwest since 1983. Dr. Raffetto holds degrees in psychology from Stanford University (B.A.), San Francisco State University (M.A.) and the University of North Dakota, (Ph.D.). His specialized area, cognitive psychology, includes studies of human learning, memory, perception and information processing. He was a member of the faculty and Chairman of the Psychology Department at Beloit College from 1969 to 1984. During those years Dr. Raffetto also held research appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied the reading process, and at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where he participated in an on-going study of how medical education transforms bright students into practicing physicians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *