Experts in communicating strategy use data — lots of it.
They can ‘talk about the numbers’ within a planned and dedicated performance section of an interview or presentation.
They can also refer to relevant data spontaneously and by memory when needing to answer questions.
When we are communicating strategy, we need to be able to explain our thinking and justify our choices. Data provides that evidence.
The ability to remember the data for use under pressure isn’t about learning the facts like learning our maths and science tables at school. It’s about understanding the relationship between the numbers and the strategy. For this reason, the data we use to measure strategies may be different from the information we use to measure business operations.
When we measure our strategies correctly, our ‘numbers’ become valuable insight as to the success or otherwise of our approach.