There’s nothing worse than having to plough through
reams of documents trying to discover the point. It wastes
time for directors trying to figure out what’s important.
Clearly the scale and purpose of the organisation will
require diferent levels of reporting, but we should
remember that clear reporting adds real value.
Dr Judith MacCormick FAICD, AICD facilitator offers
her five tips for better reporting:
1. Start with the “PACKO” principle.
P What is this report's PURPOSE? Why would you read it?
A Who is your AUDIENCE? What background and
expertise do board members have? What do they need
to know for effective governance?
C What is the CONTEXT for this report? What is the
background? What’s changed and what might change?
K What three KEY MESSAGES do you want board
members to remember after reading your report?
O What is the OUTCOME you are hoping for? What are
you asking the board to do after reading this report?
2. Make a clear connection to the organisation’s
strategy. Whether you’re reporting on past performance,
proposing a new venture or requesting more resources,
link the issues in the report to the organisation’s strategy.
3. Make time to revise. Get constructive criticism (and
return the favour). It will improve your writing.
4. Remember e=mc2
(misquoting Einstein). “If you
can’t simplify it, you don’t know the content well enough.”
5. Three Cs: keep it clear, concise and complete. No
jargon or big words (use a glossary for technical terms and
new topics). Company Director also fnds infographics are
helpful. But are we ready for emoticons yet?