Don’t have time for the video?

Remember the CQC formula whenever you write a report or email:

Context

This is not an introduction. Instead, address two key points: the link to the bigger picture and the trigger. The link to the bigger picture is all about stating why your paper/email is important. You might like to reference the organisation’s strategy and how this links to that, or state your goals/targets for this year. Secondly, the trigger is all about why they’re reading this now, and not next month.

Questions

These are the questions your report (or email) will address. We recommend no more than 5 big questions, to ensure your reader can retain the scope and concepts in their short-term memory. Keep each question short and simple, and make sure they don’t overlap.

Conclusions

Answer each Question in turn (and number them correspondingly). This is where you can highlight the key messages. The trick is to write each Conclusion as succinctly as possible (no more than 2–3 sentences). Our top tip is verbalise your answer to each question before you write it down.

Finally, don’t forget to ask for something back:

Input Sought

What do you want your reader to do after reading your paper or email? Draw upon their expertise, insight, and advice, and phrase it as a question to get their mind whirring as they read!

Have questions?

Ask Anna

Have a burning question about reporting that you’d like to ask our expert? Want us to focus on a particular topic in the coming months? Ask Anna.

Where can I find other videos like this?

You can find all our bite-sized videos on the BI Academy:

  • Log into your Board Intelligence platform on any web browser.
  • Click the “Academy” icon in the top ribbon.
  • Use the search bar to find a specific video, or if you’d like to browse all our best practice content, simply hit “Course & Learning: Best Practice for Effective Meetings.”

You can also find our suite of best-practice templates within the BI Platform (under the “Templates” icon in the top ribbon). These provide a starter for ten on the questions likely to be on your readers’ minds for particular topics and help you to structure your thinking in a logical and robust way.

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