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Ravishankar Iyer

#SOTD 25: Organising, labelling and mnemonic devices

published4 months ago
1 min read

What is common to the following:

All of them are smart mnemonic devices that pack in a ton of insights in an easy to remember way.

Oh, and they are also MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) and elegant.

They are a great way to ensure your audience remembers what you have to say.

Here's how you can use them in storytelling:

  • Collect all the ideas that you want to share with your audience (it could be any topic - marketing, sports, facilitation, auditing techniques)
  • Bucket the ideas under different heads: Bucketing can be tricky. The key is to ensure your framework is MECE and elegant
    • Try out different bucketing combinations till you achieve this goal
  • Think of a smart set of labels for each bucket/group. If the labels can be arranged to form a mnemonic - great!
    • Mnemonics work either as a standalone word (e.g. CODE, SUCCESs) or as a collection of the same letters (e.g. 7S framework, 4Ps)

Let's look at a recent example I came across on Twitter.

Gaurav Singh could have said that the key objectives of a CEO include the following:

  • Craft vision and strategy
  • Execute on the strategy
  • Hire the right talent
  • Raise funding for short term and long term needs
  • Meet shareholder expectations on returns
  • Be the face of the company and communicate the vision and performance to all stakeholders
  • Motivate the team and help them grow
  • and so on.

Instead he bucketed these ideas under five heads (must not have been easy!) and then came up with a cool mnemonic to make it memorable:

Now - you may disagree with some aspect of the classification or the labelling.

But this framing allows you to 'get' the ideas faster and gives you an easy device to remember all the jobs in one go.

Where can you use this technique

This technique is very useful in training. Especially, if you are trying to take an audience through a process, using the process steps as the buckets and creating a mnemonic (like the CODE process, or my own ABCD framework) is a useful way to share the same.

Have you created or used a framework like this at your work? Do share and I'll post in the next email.

Oh, and wishing you all a happy and safe Holi!

#SOTD 25