"I started off thinking the books were a little childish and too simplistic, then I realized how brilliant they were."Amazon Review
"Best & most important book I’ve read. The structured discipline is much more than a communication method, it shapes your thinking, creating clarity in the midst of ambiguity." Amazon Review
"Such a pleasure to read! informative, compelling, entertaining, and valuable. Provides so much more than just teaching the reader how to write, it teaches them how to think, how to plan, and how to present in business."
How to use Get Your Ducks in a Rowe to
Teach Your Students How to Think, Write, Present & Sell
I wrote Book-1 because recent grads that we had hired were struggling with crafting clear, succinct, persuasive writing – and I found that I wasn't alone.
The 3 separate studies below, produced by the American Association of Colleges & Universities, Payscale.com and Inside Higher Ed, speak to 'The Skills Gap' in today's workforce, where 40–74% of managers are struggling with the inability of recent graduates they've hired to problem-solve and write. However, a surprising 66%–80% of these same grads believe they are indeed proficient at these skills.
After seeing the research I decided to continue the fable and write Book-2 to provide a simple, holistic perspective for learning how to solve problems via critical and creative thinking. This expanded into a practical training tool to Learn The A-D-A-P-T-E-R Method; Analyze - Deduce - Author - Perform - Tackle - Evaluate - Refine. Tips and tools to undertake the cycle of strategic thinking through execution.
How does Get Your Ducks in a Rowe help?
Crafted as a Training Tool to Teach Persuasive Writing and Communication To Execs and StudentsI didn't want to write another boring business book. Therefore, inspired by Who Moved My Cheese, I wrote a simple fable as a quick read to provide managers and HR trainers to teach a structured process of critical thinking to write persuasively. It is based upon my 45 years in marketing in senior client side, agency president and agency ownership positions. While the initial focus was training recent grads in business, the exact same structured format is ideal for high school teachers and college professors to teach these fundamental skills to students before they graduate. They are often referred to as 'soft skills', but they are important 'life skills.'
Based on the Disciplined Approach of a Typical Marketing BriefThis time-tested, classical packaged goods marketing approach, provides the executive a structured format to think through, understand and address complex problems, then craft a written and/or oral presentation to generate approval. The beauty is in its simplicity. One of the key steps in learning to write is to develop an outline to organize your thoughts. The 10-Steps of Get Your Ducks In A Rowe is the outline! Many organizations and senior executives stress the importance of keeping it to one page. Senior executives are busy. They put the onus on the author to provide all the pertinent information clearly and succinctly, so the senior executive grasps the message quickly to make a decision vs. deciphering a long message. The 10-Steps of Get Your Ducks In A Rowe does just that. Get Your Ducks In A Rowe isn't just for business situations. It's a fundamental approach that all High School and College students should learn. The simple 10-step strucured format provides teachers with a practical teaching tool to simplify the process so students can understand it quickly and apply it to throughout their lives.
The Story is the Example to Understand the ProcessThe Get Your Ducks In A Rowe story provides context for how the process works with the meaning, purpose, and suggestions to optimize each of the 10-steps. Yes, the example is about ducks in business. But it can be used as the foundation to train the executive how to Think - Write - Present - Sell any business problem for any situation. Herein lies its true value. It is just as effective for teachers to train students how to Think - Write - Present - Persuade an audience to accept the argument a student makes for any situation.
Provides Context to Develop Both Written Documents and PresentationsCommunicating your ideas in life, or business, particularly in marketing, requires skill sets to both write documents and make oral presentations. Get Your Ducks In A Rowe - Book 1 explains both how and why the 10-Step structured format can be easily transformed from a written document into a (typically) PowerPoint presentation. Having already crafted the written the document, the presenter just needs the key words on each slide (vs sentences) to focus the audience on the thought while he/she elaborates and explains the point. Teaching students how to communicate both in writing and especially presentation skills will significantly enhance their personal and business growth once they graduate.
Helps Executives & Students to Not Take Communication Skills for GrantedJust because we all 'can' think, speak and write, doesn't mean we are all 'good at it'. The 'Soft Skills' of Critical Thinking to solve problems, and Written / Oral Communication, are the top 2 skills managers are looking for in new hires. However, as the research studies above display, they are also viewed as the top 2 issues managers are having with recent grads. Yet, grads think they are good at it. Hence, the 'Skills Gap'. Utilizing Get Your Ducks In A Rowe demonstrates to the executive and the student that these skills are NOT inherent, they are very important, and therefore, they should NOT be taken for granted. To be really good at something requires proper training on the fundamentals of the skill, with ongoing practice, coaching and refinement to establish expertise. It's a never ending process. Tiger Woods and I both play golf. He's considered one of the Greatest Of All Time. I'm awful. But even as a GOAT, he's constantly working on his game. Critical thinking, writing and communicating require the same level of understanding and commitment to "be good at it." The value of Get Your Ducks In A Rowe is that it trains the executives the fundamentals of business communication in an easy to remember, adopt and replicate format. My goal for educators is to provide a simple time tested / effective tool to address this national Skills Gap before students graduate. Giving students these fundamental skills in school allows them to be more effective at both being hired in the first place, and in succeeding once they graduate.
% OF MANAGERS WHO SAY RECENT GRADS LACK PROFICIENCY IN THESE SKILLS
% OF RECENT GRADS RATE THEMSELVES PROFICIENT IN THESE SAME SKILLS
How to Get Your Students to Practice The Process
Develop Ideas for Assignments to Solve other Problems that are Relevant to the Student's Grade Level
Reading Book 1 will help them grasp the concept. But to engrain it in their approach to thinking and writing they need to practice it. Therefore, I recommend providing assignments for students to use the process to lay out their case for a range of different scenarios. The process of outlining plans for business are really not different from the plans for accomplishing other things in life be it social, community, educational, religious etc. They are also not always “money” oriented. Either way the process can be applied to each.
Have questions or ideas I can share with other teachers?
To have each student individually practice the process of thinking through, writing AND eventually presenting their plans to the class a minimum of 2-3x
Utilize a range of scenarios that are relevant to the students so they can put the Get Your Ducks In A Rowe process into a practical application.
The following are just some examples of how students can Get Your Ducks In A Rowe:
How to raise money for an organization (eg., scouts, local theater, arts)
Getting more students to join a club
Organizing a field trip or event
Organizing an event to support a cause important to students
Creating a plan to land an internship (college students)
To add more interest for the students:
Have each student apply the Get Your Ducks in a Rowe process to different scenarios - to be done in 2 stages:
One page document:
You get to work with the student to refine it and grade it
Ten slide presentation to the class that teaches:
- The importance of distilling words to the bare essentials
- Leveraging visuals where appropriate to reinforce their POV or stance
- Public speaking and engaging with an audience
Shop Get Your Ducks in a Rowe
Level Up Your Students With Their Own Copy Today
First, teach your students the simple, 10-step structured format in Book-1 to:
Next, teach them to Learn The A-D-A-P-T-E-R Method's holistic approach to thinking and communication:
Problem solving through writing