The Pyramid Principle is a classic book written by Barbara Minto back in the late 80s. The approach and structure of this book has survived the test of times and it is now up to its 3rd edition. I read it in the mid-2000s after it being recommended by the Manager-Tools team and recently re-read it again.
For those that struggle with business writing, Minto provides a structure on how to lay out your thoughts as well as take into consideration the reader so that you can maximise the message that gets passed to whoever consumes your work. There are a number of psychological concepts outlined in the book along with practical associations that can be leveraged when writing. Given I’m a big fan of mind-mapping I was a little dubious reading this the second time, however, it was evident how many synergies there are between the two concepts.
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. Storytelling should always revolve around the four key areas (in sequence): Situation, Complication, Question and Answer
2. Never call a heading “Findings” or “Conclusion” as they do not provide the reader with any insight
3. The problem solving process is really a simple set of 5 questions: What? Where? Why? What can we do about it? What should we do about it?