Chapter 20

Taking a Message Inventory

You've chosen a whiteboard topic and formed your working team. You have your menu, your team of chefs, now all you need is the ingredients to prepare your masterpiece. You can't just run down to the corner grocer. You need prime ingredients from a gourmet food shop.


The majority of the organizations we work with have existing, effective messaging. Designing a whiteboard is not often an exercise of growing your own soybeans—it's more like the process to turn those soybeans into soy sauce, or make gasoline out of crude oil. [We shouldn't mix metaphors like this…stick to food metaphors…olive oil out of olives…wine out of grapes.]

However, there are cases where messaging is in flux rather than locked down. There are situations where an organization is going through a re-branding or re-messaging. Because the working team is x-functional in nature (including sales, marketing, training, etc.), the whiteboard design process is actually an opportunity to clarify and enhance certain aspects of that organization's messaging. There can be unanticipated benefits when the working team comes together. People begin to agree on common ground. What comes out of the process is consensus around important company themes, solution value messaging, and competitive positioning.

Content Requirements

Let's look at a situation where the raw materials are in place—the ...

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