Sunday, January 20, 2013

Survey Results & Final Research: Sustainability Data Management Software

Executive Summary

Sustainability Issue
Although there are few legislative standards that mandate a certain level of sustainable performance for companies in the U.S., there is still enormous value to be gained by those who proactively pursue sustainability goals.  Effective management of environmental and social performance data is critical for organizations of all sizes and industries to achieve these goals.  Because the task of collecting, analyzing, and communicating sustainability data is so extensive and complex, advanced software systems are needed to centralize and simplify this process. 

Research Needed in the Industry
Literature that currently exists on this subject is largely focused on the vendors in the industry.  Since 2008, excitement in this space has spurred the emergence of dozens of new sustainability software products, developed by larger and well-established business solutions providers such as Oracle and SAP as well as smaller, newer, and more specialized companies such as Hara and CRedit360.  Accordingly, current research aims to demystify this rapidly growing market by providing potential users with resources to help them understand the different products and ultimately choose a solution. 

This study addresses what is currently missing in the industry – that is, an examination of the user-end of these products.  This allows vendors to better understand customer needs in the market and improve their products and services to increase customer success, which is, ultimately, an effective corporate sustainability program. 

Research Questions Addressed in this Study
1.  How do organizations collect, analyze, and report their sustainability data?
2.  What systems are they using to facilitate this process?
3.  What challenges are they facing, and what do they need to meet those challenges?
4.  How can enterprise sustainability software be improved in order to support the implementation of effective, data-driven sustainability strategies?

Key Findings
The greatest opportunities for vendors to increase their value to customers are to improve 1) product implementation, and 2) reporting capabilities.  These were rated as two of the top three most important features of a sustainability software solution.  However, this study found that users are, on average, only marginally satisfied with their solution's ability to deliver on these critical features.  The other feature rated in the top three was simplicity of user interface. 

Product Implementation:
Ease of product implementation was rated as the number one most important software feature out of a list of fifteen.  However, almost two-thirds of research subjects who purchase sustainability software also use Excel spreadsheets to support their data management efforts.  This finding indicates that the majority of software users have not been successful in fully transitioning to the solution they pay for even though these products should be designed to handle the entire data management process.  This challenge can be resolved with improved vendor service at the onset of launching a product with a customer.  The services needed include: locating data sources, loading historical data into the system, and helping to establish processes for pulling future data from internal and external sources.

Reporting Capabilities:
The ability to generate reports directly from software was rated as the third most important product feature out of fifteen.  Sustainability managers currently struggle with the need to communicate information to several different stakeholders and reporting organizations.  Each one requires a different set of reporting standards, thus further complicating the data management process.  There is a need for sustainability software that integrates not only the most common reporting frameworks, but also the reporting requirements of customers' unique stakeholders.  This can be part of a vendor's implementation service and includes working with each customer to identify their specific reporting needs and building a solution that allows them to easily provide the necessary information to each stakeholder.  

Moving Forward 
Effective data management will continue to be a key driver of sustainability progress in organizations, and vendors should not be deterred by the temporary lag in sales growth that the industry has experienced over the last year.  

Click the following link to view the full report:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ATTN: SUSTAINABILITY MANAGERS -- How do you collect and manage your sustainability data? What challenges are you facing?

The point has been hit home time and again in articles, blogs, and case studies: DATA is a key driver of effective sustainability strategy in organizations. It tells us how we are performing and where we have opportunities for improvement, thus directing our strategic efforts. 

If we aspire to integrate sustainability considerations into core business decisions, then it is integral that we create processes for data collection, management, analysis, and reporting that are as efficient and standardized as possible -- like our processes for measuring financial performance. 

Unlike with financial metrics, however, the processes and tools that organizations implement to evaluate sustainability metrics vary drastically across companies and industries. This variation seems to be a significant setback in our collaborative sustainability effort because it causes confusion when identifying standards and best practices. 

I am conducting research for my MBA thesis to understand the processes and software tools that Sustainability Managers are using to collect, analyze, and communicate their organizations' sustainability data -- and more importantly, what challenges arise with different approaches taken by different companies? 

I will make this research available to the community for free for the purpose of benefitting public knowledge. It will guide vendors of sustainability software solutions to improve their product offerings to better meet customer needs. It will also help Sustainability Managers understand the common benefits and drawbacks of solutions in the market, enabling them to make an informed decision when choosing a solution for their company. 

To support this research, I am asking Sustainability Managers and those holding other sustainability-related roles in companies to please spare 10 minutes of time to participate in a brief survey. Participation will benefit the effort to develop technologies and processes that drive the implementation of sustainability initiatives in businesses. 

If you work in a sustainability function in your company, I hope that you can find a moment in your busy schedule to provide your valuable input for this study. I would like to collect as many survey responses as possible by 16-Nov. Please contact me if you would like to further discuss this research. 

Sustainability Data Management Processes Survey

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sustainability Reporting & GRI in Business School Curriculum

The following paper includes:
1) Analysis of the rising trend of sustainability reporting
2) The argument for GRI as the leading framework for sustainability reporting in the U.S.
3) Policy proposal for including GRI projects in business school curriculum

The GRI projects are proposed specifically for the Dominican University of California's Green MBA in Sustainable Enterprise program in San Rafael, CA, USA.  However, similar or identical projects can be administered at any business school or sustainability program.  

The key point is that there is both a need and an opportunity to increase awareness, education, and implementation of sustainability reporting in the United States.  As a global economic leader, we are abysmally lagging in developing integrated sustainability strategies for businesses.  To embark on this journey, we must first measure and report on social and environmental performance. 

In the coming weeks, I will be creating a condensed version of this report for broader implementation of the policy.  Please let me know if you are interested in receiving this link.  Leave your email in the Comments section or message me  through LinkedIn or at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breaking into Sustainability Consulting: 101

Sustainability and CSR consulting is an emerging field with optimistic prospects for growth due to the increasing realization that there is a huge business opportunity to leverage social and environmental strategy to drive financial objectives.

According to the 2012 Global Sustainability Consultant Survey conducted by David Schatsky at Green Research, 60 percent of sustainability consultants entered the field within the last 5 years.  We are seeing the arrival of a growing number of new boutique consulting firms focusing specifically on organizational sustainability strategy.  Concurrently, more and more existing consultants are moving from their prior field of expertise and gaining the education needed to reinvent themselves as sustainability strategy specialists.  

What is perhaps even more telling of the maturation of this industry is that all of the big management and strategy consulting firms -- Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, Accenture, Boston Consulting, McKinsey -- have each created their own division for sustainability consulting.  Such firms can have tremendous influence on big clients whose operations have far reaching social and environmental impacts.  The fact that these firms have realized the value to be gained from sustainability strategy is an indicator that the private sector will be the most probable leader in driving the global shift toward sustainability.  This, of course, appears to be ever more true as we witness, in frustration, seemingly stagnant global legislative action to mandate corporate responsibility. 

As a current MBA student studying sustainable business management and looking to capitalize on the opportunity to be a sustainability professional in the coming decades, I have gotten some great advice on how to strategically enter the field. 

Paul Bozzo -- my Entrepreneurial Finance professor and Founding Principal of the 10X Group, a consultancy for entrepreneurial strategy -- gave me an overview of common career paths of specialty consultants.  You can start with a big firm -- a KPMG or an E&Y -- to get broad experience with management consulting, client relationships, and strategy development and implementation.  From there, you can spend years moving up and up within the firm to eventually and hopefully become a partner.  Or, what is more common is to take that broad experience and move to smaller, more focused firms.  Eventually, a final route for some is to establish yourself as an independent consultant with enough  expertise developed over the years to market your personal brand and take on solo projects.  According to the Green Research 2012 Sustainability Consultant Survey, 61 percent of sustainability consultants work alone or in firms with 10 or less consultants in the practice.  

Of course, this is very general advice, and sustainability consultants have varying career paths within this framework as well as completely different paths altogether.  But being at the onset of my career as a sustainability professional, this general guidance is enough for me to take my career development to the next step. 

Navin Ramacharndran -- currently Vice President of Products at Amyris Inc, and formerly an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Co. -- provided further advice on how to prepare to enter the sustainability division of a large consulting firm:

1.  Identify which office has the greatest focus on sustainability.  The global scale of these companies means multiple offices across the country and around the world.  Different offices encounter a different number of clients interested in sustainability strategy development.  For example, because of regional culture, offices in San Francisco or New York will see a higher demand for sustainability consulting services compared to, say, Atlanta or Minneapolis.  

2.  Ask associate-level consultants at those identified offices how much they actually work on sustainability projects.  If there are few active clients for a firm's sustainability division, associates are often placed on other projects, whatever they may be.  To develop expertise in the sustainability field, you should be working specifically on those projects as much as possible. 

3.  Master the case job interview.  According to MIT's Career Development Handbook, the case interview is an interview in which "you are introduced to a business dilemma facing a particular company. You are asked to analyze the situation, identify key business issues, and discuss how you would address the problems involved."  Case interviews are most common in management consulting firms and investment banking companies, and there are numerous resources on- and offline where you can find sample case studies to practice with.  

However, in my search to find case studies specific to sustainability issues and strategy development, I have come up short.  I imagine this is because of the relatively early stage of maturity of the industry.  The way I have decided is the best way to find my own sustainability cases to analyze is to find a company with an established CSR strategy and pull up their annual CSR report as well as the 10-K for that same year.  The analysis, then, is to identify the key social and environmental issues addressed in the CSR report and understand how and where the company's sustainability strategy had an impact on their financial performance reflected in the 10-K.  To get clients onboard, there must always be financial gain because the bottom line of the triple bottom line, ultimately, is the bottom line.  Of course, many efforts that are part of a company's sustainability strategy provide intangible, non-financial benefit.  It is also equally important to address these gains and translate them into an argument for how the company can leverage that value as a tangible asset. 

Are you currently a sustainability consultant?  What was your career path to get you where you are today?  What advice do you have for MBA students looking to enter the field?  Do you think that analyzing sustainability cases is an effective way to prepare for an interview with a sustainability consulting firm?  Please share your thoughts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

INTRAPRENEURSHIP: Having a positive impact in your workplace regardless of your position

Net Impact Webinar Series: Action Learning Call with Paul Hardt, Capella University
Thursday, April 14, 2011

In this Net Impact web call, Paul Hardt explains how to introduce sustainable business practices (SBPs) in the workplace and implement effective change.

I.  Challenges to implementing SBPs
“The hard stuff is the easy stuff.  The soft stuff is the hard stuff.”

Hard stuff = technical changes in an organization.  We have the best computers and management systems to measure carbon footprint, waste generation, energy and water usage, etc.

Soft stuff = human performance, motivation, relationships, training, resistance to change. 

It’s easy to get all the technology and systems in place, but it takes only one human performance error to ruin the implementation of a sustainable business plan.

II.  Management decision making styles
How to approach managers to suggest a sustainable business plan for your workplace

A common belief, while often true, is that we have to show proven bottom line impact to get SBPs in place.  However, the truth is that sometimes managers make decisions based on factors other than bottom line return.  There are a wide variety of decision making styles that managers take when looking at adopting a particular business practice.  The key is to cater your pitch to your specific audience by understanding the factors your manager considers when making a decision. 

3 basic decision making styles:

Decisions made based on (usually financial) rules – ROI, profit margins, market value

a.  Process – Decisions made based on the process of decision making.  These managers are more inclined to engage stakeholders in the decision making process to ensure that the decision reflects the interests of the people most affected by it.
b.  Risk – Managers with this style are more focused on looking at the risks and benefits of a decision.  They may be more inclined to take a short term loss in order to get long term gain.

3)  NATURALISTIC (a mixed bag of decision making styles)
a.  Stories – Some managers make decisions based on stories they hear at the decision making table, the golf course, happy hour, from a friend in a different company, wherever.  If they hear a story from another executive or manager that convinces them to adopt a certain strategy, they will be very influenced by that.
b.  Ethical – Decision based on, “Is this the right thing to do?”
c.  Idiosyncratic – Decision based on an argument from the latest book or article

Assess the decision making styles of the managers to whom you are pitching your social intrapreneureal idea

* Some managers can have multiple decision making styles.  Be able to cater to the subtleties of their styles.

A tool for understanding the dynamics of the forces within an organization that push towards change and those that resist change

Kurt Levine (1940s) developed a metaphor of using physical forces to understand the dynamics of change.  There are certain driving forces that move an organization toward change and certain barrier forces that get in the way of change. 

Organizations remain static when barrier forces counteract driving forces with equal pressure.

1.  Economics – Using resources efficiently can save money, and savings can be passed to customers.
2.  Regulation – Laws can push businesses to adopt SBPs
3.  Competition – Gain market share
4.  Ethics – Concern about the impact of using up the world’s resources
5.  Recruitment – Attract new talent.  Many new workplace initiates Generation Y look to work for an organization that is making a positive difference in the world.
6.  Customer pressure – When making purchasing decisions, conscious consumers demand products from sustainable businesses.
7.  Supply chain pressure – Some organizations demand that their suppliers adopt SBPs

1.  Cost – Too much investment
2.  Time – Too much time and trouble
3.  Motivation and values – People lack the values or motivation to find SBPs beneficial
4.  Political pressures – Board members, investors, and other stakeholders may squander organizational endeavors to adopt SBPs

Strategy for dealing with resistance/barriers: Brainstorm what constitutes each of these barrier forces in your organization.  Rather than pushing the case for the driving forces, determine how the barriers can be removed or reduced.  If drivers are pressed too much, then the barriers will counteract with stronger resistance. 

IV.  BEHAVIORAL ENGINEERING MODEL (BEM) – Thomas Gilbert’s performance improvement studies
A tool for understanding the 6 different key human performance areas that can make or break the “soft side” of introducing sustainable business practices

When strategizing to encourage your organization to use SBPs:
1.  Identify each of these six factors of human performance within your company.
2.  Ask: How aligned are all of these factors in our organization?

If there is misalignment across some of these factors (with is very possible), your approach in getting people to adopt SBPs is not as effective as it could be.  For example, there may be clear expecations and resourceful information for people to do these practices, but at the same time, there may be a conflicting incentive system that rewards people for contradictory behavior.

Think about all of the individual factors and whether they are in place, AND also think about the relationships between these factors and whether they are aligned.

Behavioral engineering model:

We have moved into a world and culture that is in a constant state of change.  How can we help our organizations move through endless instability?

5 factors to consider to promote positive change
(Diane Dormant, PhD, Professor at Boise State University)

“What’s in it for me?”  Be prepared to talk about the benefit that your particular audience will gain from adopting the change.

Is the change easy to follow?  Set clear expectations.

Will the proposed changes blend smoothly into your company’s culture and standard practices?

Be able to adapt the change to the characteristics and needs of the organization.  Be flexible and make some compromises to get the most out of the new practices. 

Who will be affected by the change and how will they respond to it?

5 steps to introduce and encourage positive change (Dormant)

Raise awareness about the change before you try to push it.

2.  CURIOUSITY (a great opportunity!)
Provoke curiousity and inquiry.  Provide resources such as FAQ lists and other support tools to help get people informed and on board.

Have employees imagine what the change might look like in the near and distant future.  People will have both positive and negative outlooks.  For negative visualizers, help identify what the negative factors are that are causing concern.  Address those concerns to create understanding and a more positive attitude.  For positive visualizers, make sure the picture is accurate and realistic.  If people have high expectations that won’t be met, then progress will seem slow and unrewarding. 

Allow people to test the change strategies in a low impact, low consequence way.  They won’t immediately see the full impact of the change, but they can learn to adapt to the change without the fear of making a mistake.  Furthermore, you can adjust your sustainability strategy based on initial responses. 

5.  USE
Implement SBPs.  Set up systems to sustain the new practices.  Develop refresher programs.  Give feedback about how individuals are doing and how the organization is doing compared to the goals.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sustainability in K-12 education: Long-term goals to transform market demand for sustainable brands

We are currently seeing a remarkable increase in the demand for sustainability and social and environmental responsibility curriculum in undergraduate and advanced education programs.  College students entering the working world and current professionals going back to school recognize the value they can bring to the work place with an education in environmental management systems, sustainable business models, and systemic thinking.  In response to this demand, these topics are becoming increasingly more integrated into undergraduate majors, professional certificates, and business programs.  However, because this evolution of curriculum spurred from a demand for professional competence in a green economy, we are overlooking another longer-term goal that sustainability education can achieve – building the demand for the green economy.
If we integrate the value of sustainable consumption into K-12 curriculum, we can produce a generation of consumers with the knowledge, values, and influence this sustainability movement needs to really take flight.  When today’s kids become tomorrow’s consumers, we need them to support responsible brands. 
I am fairly out of touch with today’s K-12 curriculum, as I’ve been out of it for a few years now and I don’t have kids of my own.  I imagine that it is so institutionalized and under funded that it is resistant to change and still closely resembles my own K-12 public education.  Admittedly, I don’t understand the politics behind the institutional paralysis of public education.  However, I’d like to propose a solution to the issue of insufficient funding. 
Socially and environmentaly responsible companies can invest in education to promote awareness of the environmental repercussions of consumerism.  Businesses can fund training programs to educate teachers on appropriate curriculum that addresses the importance of responsible and sustainable consumption.  Obviously this would require an investment that won’t pay off until these kids constitute a significant portion of the consumer market.  But isn’t the value up front investment for the sake of long-term returns at the core of the sustainable business mentality?
Of course, there are already resources that can assist schools in developing this curriculum.  In my preliminary Google research, I found a “Students and Sustainability” section on the US EPA website.  It includes links to EPA’s Environmental Education Center, Green Teacher Magazine, and a curriculum development resource called “Going Places Making Choices.” is a similar initiative launched by the Illinois EPA.  And is another organization that addresses global issues and sustainability curriculum.  While these resources exist and are readily available, it is up the schools and teachers to learn the new curriculum, get it approved by the school board, and integrate it into courses. 
So my question is: Can responsible companies be the bridge between having those education materials available and getting that material into classrooms?  If we are to create a future based on a green economy where consumers support responsible businesses and value sustainable brands, I think this idea is worth considering. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quarterly Non-Financial Reporting: A tool for improving social and environmental business strategies

Every public company in the U.S. releases a quarterly financial statement (the 10-Q) that shows their financial results – how money is flowing in, through, and out of the company – and any significant changes and events that occurred over a three-month period. For external stakeholders, the 10-Q and other financial reports help to uphold a company’s financial accountability to their investors and guide sound investment decisions.  Internally, this information is used to: 1) evaluate financial performance for the reporting period, 2) predict results that are likely to happen in the foreseeable future, and 3) adjust business strategy to capitalize on opportunities and avoid preventable loss.  Frequent quarterly reporting allows companies to constantly update and improve their financial strategy. 
As companies move into the new world of sustainability and shift to a triple-bottom line business model, it appears that they are ill-equipped to adjust their social and environmental strategies as efficiently as they can their financial strategy.  Why?
             Current reporting on a company’s social and environmental performance (CSR reporting, or corporate social responsibility) occurs, at most, on an annual basis, and this information is not released until 6 to 9 months after the reporting year.  More commonly, we see companies publishing bi-annual CSR reports.  This means that for every one CSR report released, there are eight quarterly financial reports. 
When information turnover is this slow, response is delayed.  By the time a company tries to mobilize and make improvements, conditions and needs have changed.  The data used to inform social and environmental strategy decisions is, at best, almost a year old.
If we are to create businesses that value economic, social, and environmental performance equally, then we need to report on social and environmental performance to the extent we do financials.  The speed of this reporting needs to catch up to the evolving world of business that's obsessed with real-time data and immediate response.


There are two major barriers to incorporating comprehensive reporting in businesses: 1) resources, and 2) metrics.


Like the finance department that is central to any company, sustainable companies need a department whose primary function is to oversee social and environmental performance.  Only with this level of commitment can frequent triple-bottom line reporting (and thus continuous improvement) be possible.  It cannot be an ancillary function of a department whose main responsibilities lie elsewhere in the company.
Inertia sets on the whim of the financial department when the enormous investment in human resources, education, and infrastructure cannot be financially justified.  In physics, inertia infinitely continues until acted on by a force.  In this case, that force will be a new wave of morally informed investors who believe it is the responsibility of businesses to leverage their power and influence to effect positive impact on communities and the world.
Organizations such as the Social Investment Forum,, Calvert Investments, and are helping to accelerate the growth of this investment trend.  They are attracting investors who have new values that extend beyond promising ROI and growing dividends.


Fiscal strategy is based on fiscal measurements.  The unit of measure is the dollar (or other local currency).  Using these measurements and comparisons, companies can improve their performance by adjusting sales prices, operating expenses, and cash flows.
The problem with this new phase of sustainable business is that we measure everything in dollars.  The dollar is a product of the economy – NOT of the environment and not of human social interactions.  So why are we trying to measure social and environmental performance in a unit that doesn’t allow us to make the best informed strategic decisions regarding these issues? 
Functional environmental reporting measures electricity, fuel, natural gas, and water usage as well as pollution and waste reduction.  Social reporting assesses (among many other factors) health, safety, and turnover rate of employees, and quality of life, education, and health in global supplier communities. 
Another flaw in current CSR reporting is that numbers for the reporting year are compared only to a prior year’s baseline.  Measuring against past performance is crucial to understand the degree to which a company is improving.  However, in addition, these measurements need to be put into the context of the company’s long-term goals.  In other words, social and environmental performance need to be measured against both past performance and future targets.  Sustainability is a process of continuous improvement that will evolve and innovate into the future.  Businesses need to evaluate their position in terms of their broader sustainability goals instead of only considering their improvements compared to past baselines that were calculated when sustainability initiatives didn’t even exist. 


In 2008, Timberland began an initiative to release quarterly social and environmental performance reports in addition to their financial statements and bi-annual CSR reports.  Each quarterly report includes four focus areas that inform their core CSR strategies:

Measured in:
(a)  Metric tons of GHG emissions
(b)  Kilowatt-hours of renewable energy used
(c)  Total percentage of renewable energy used

Measured in:
(a)  Green Index score – a measure of product impact on the environment []
(b)  Grams of VOC per pair of shoes (volatile organic compounds)
(c)  Total percentage of organic cotton sourced

Measured in:
(a)  Percentage of “High Priority” factories – score of at least 80 on the Timberland factory scorecard that evaluates production capacities and working hours
(b)  Percentage of production in “High Risk” factories – They strive for low production from high risk factories so that attention can be directed toward making health and safety improvements in those factories
(c)  Environmental assessment score – Scorecard methodology adopted from the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP)
(d)  Assessment scores of business partners

4)  SERVICE (community greening)
Measured in:
(a)  Total hours used for community service
(b)  Total percentage of work hours used for community service
(c)  Total percentage of employees who engage in community service

(Source: Timberland Corporate Responsibility,

Timberland has overcome the barriers of resources and metrics.  They allot sufficient human and financial resources to match their commitment to social and environmental values.  With these resources, they are able to produce frequent comprehensive performance reports and adjust their strategies to meet current needs.  CSR performance is measured in non-dollar units, demonstrating how monetary units cannot adequately inform social and environmental strategic decisions. 

If we are to create a new culture of sustainability and continuous improvment, businesses must adopt this approach to comprehensive performance reporting.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 benefits of clear and concise business communication

As I learn more about business and communication, I've picked up on two key ideas:
1)  People have short attention spans, and
2)  "Misinterpretation is a phenomenon of communication."
            - Jane Lorand

To overcome these barriers and communicate your message effectively,
1)  Get to the point, and
2)  Eliminate ambiguity in your message

Be clear and concise.

Here are what I think are the top ten benefits of being clear in concise in business communication (not listed in any particular order):

1. Reduce the chance of misinterpretation of your message. Clarity eliminates ambiguity and confusion.  Ensure alignment of everyone involved.

2. Set the precedent for organizational structure with the people you are working with. From the beginning, establish clear and concise communication and encourage others to follow suit. When everyone on your team communicates effectively, the work is more organized and efficient.

3. Your coworkers, business partners, and employees will have more trust and confidence in your leadership skills. Being clear and concise displays your clarity of thought. People have more confidence in what you say because it shows that you know exactly what you are doing and what needs to be done. Build trust, strengthen team cohesion, and create a more productive working environment.

4. Your coworkers, business partners, and employees will have more confidence in themselves. People are more self-assured when they understand exactly what they are supposed to be doing and why they are doing it. Confidence leads to higher quality work.

5. Maintain your audience’s interest and attention. Don’t bore people with lengthy explanations. Cater to people's short attention spans.

6. Clarify your ideas to yourself. By communicating a clear message to others, you first have to make it clear to yourself. Ensure that your message is coherent before you share it with others.

7. Create a more knowledgeable workplace.  Spread knowledge and increase understanding among everyone. Create a smarter, well-informed, more productive workplace.

8. Save time and maximize efficiency. Valuable time is wasted when it is spent trying to decipher a complicated message.

9. Maintain focus.  When you don’t convolute your ideas with extra words, you can get straight to the point and eliminate tangents. Everyone understands exactly what needs to be done.

10. Easier to point out flaws or weaknesses and identify where improvements need to be made. It is difficult to make improvements and get feedback for a complicated business plan. A coherent message is easily broken into components to analyze and improve upon.