Decision-makers in modern organizations commonly demand briefings in the form of bullet points or a series of series of bullet points. That leads to trouble, because the bullet point form isn't capable of presenting faithful representations of every reality or every logical argument. And the root of the problem lies in the nature of the bullet point itself. Nevertheless decision-makers persist in demanding the bullet-point format, and briefers persist in delivering it.
We’ll explore the inherent limitations of the bullet-point format, exposing how it tends to make briefers and presenters vulnerable to a cognitive bias that compromises their ability to deliver the message they intend. And we’ll show how briefers and presenters can exploit other cognitive biases that make their arguments and assertions seem more credible than they actually are. Both sets of phenomena contribute to a risk of poor decisions on the part of decision-makers.
Instead of briefers composing bullet points, and audiences reading them, we actually need to think. We’ll suggest how briefers and their audiences can collaborate to accomplish just that.
Our Presenter Rick Brenner, is principal of Chaco Canyon Consulting. He works with people in problem-solving organizations that make complex products that need state-of-the-art teamwork, and with organizations that want to create innovative products by building stronger relationships among their people. In 30 years as a software developer, project manager, software development manager, entrepreneur, and consultant, he has developed valuable insights into the interactions between people in the workplace environment, and between people and the media in which they work.