Solutions: Articulating Answers

Hello again,

Great work for finishing this challenge.

The ‘answer' or governing idea is in some ways a tiny part of your story and easy to ignore for that reason. It is, however, the glue that holds your whole story together and although at times difficult to articulate powerfully, critical. Thinking carefully about the governing idea adds enormous value to your communication.

Take a look at the solutions to the challenge here as well as some ideas for putting ‘answers' into practice in your own work.

Davina and Gerard



1. What is wrong with this Answer (governing idea)?

We recommend you cut spending, improve governance, reorganise to focus on the customer rather than your internal systems, set a new vision and direction that matches the needs of your most desired customers and introduce a fully digitised customer elations system for the front line customer service teams.
What’s not wrong with it? All of the above is correct: there are too many words, it is just a shopping list with no synthesis and the ideas within the sentence are not ordered A better statement might look like this: We recommend a thorough overhaul of all aspects of the business!

2. What is wrong with this Answer (governing idea)?

Our analysis has identified three reasons why we should stop.
This sentence is the opposite of the previous one: it is incomplete and does not say what we should stop or when we should stop, it is too short and would be hard to support. A better statement might look like this: We have identified three reasons why we should stop doing X which is damaging Y area of our business.

2. What is wrong with this Answer (governing idea)?

The list of actions are as follows.
This is not a governing idea, but rather a transition into a series of ideas. It is neither a summary nor a synthesis, is too short and is grammatically incorrect. We will leave you to spot the grammatical faux pas.



It is easy to jump over the answers, or governing idea, for your story and head straight to your supporting points, but this deprives you and your audience of something very important: The answer is the glue that hold your story together.

It deprives you of the opportunity to really shine by articulating the core theme that underpins your communication and deprives your audience of a critical element that helps their understanding.

So, our suggestion here is simple: pay more attention to crafting your governing idea than you currently do. It’s worth it!