4-weeks into my new job without PowerPoint.

I haven’t opened up PowerPoint once since joining Goodpatch. In fact, it’s not even downloaded onto my work laptop. I would bet that there are a total of two people that work here with a Microsoft Office subscription. For context, I joined Goodpatch from one of the big-three Management Consultancies. I don’t think a single workday in my three years went by without opening up PowerPoint. Consultants have a complex relationship with the program. It’s a mix of hatred, reliance, and comfort.

Diverse teams spark mindset shifts

At first, I thought Keynote would take the place of my security blanket, but I now realize this wasn’t the best mindset to fit into the team. The hours I found comfort in formatting, ideating, and planning slides seemed highly unproductive compared to the time I could spend designing, prototyping, and implementing. This mindset shift from thinking to creating is one where I feel consultancies can benefit greatly. The people at Goodpatch don’t just produce slides, they turn all their ideas into actionable prototypes on the spot.

One significant factor in activating this mindset shift is having a diverse team in place. Content should be developed in the medium that makes the most sense for the message. Spoiler alert: this isn’t always a slide deck. To quote Dwight Schrute, “PowerPoint is boring.” While I think most consultants would agree with me on this, the default to PowerPoint is inevitable when there is no impulse generated from team members with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. Instead, traditional consultancies often have an in-house design team or acquire a digital group that adapts all the necessary content into a slide deck rather than integrating new tools into their ways of working. The diversity of Goodpatch teams not only means we are tool-ninjas, but we’ve also got the mix of backgrounds and skills needed to solve complex problems.

From PowerPoint to Prototype

At Goodpatch, I work with Designers, Strategists, Developers, and more. Everyone has preferred tools or expertise in specific applications, but at the end of the day, the uniting impulse is to create something and collaborate on it together. This is one consistent feature of all the tools we use at Goodpatch. They’re highly collaborative. In addition, the nature of working at a design company means the most-used tools have a focus on prototyping. I’ve quickly learned that I don’t need to be a designer to use a tool like Figma or default to prototyping. As Marco talks about in this blog post, “Just start building - even with a tool you are already familiar with.” Of course, having suitable applications in place helps the process, but it’s really about spending a little less time planning and formatting slides and a lot more time designing and implementing.

In a client working model where engagement over virtual platforms is a big hurdle, it’s worth thinking about how prototyping tools like Figma, Whimsical, or Prott can take your clients out of their comfort zone of Powerpoint presentations and into this mindset of collaborative prototyping.

What’s vital is that this action-oriented approach isn’t only reserved for client engagements but naturally diffuses throughout the organization’s day-to-day and internal tasks. The way decisions are made internally, problems are brought to light, or initiatives are worked on also needs to reflect this prototyping mindset. Stop debating and start building is the name of the game. Sometimes an informative slide deck is what a team needs, and whenever that’s the case at Goodpatch, I’ll be the first to put a storyboard together. Until then, I’m asking myself: “Once I’m done planning, what’s the next step and what’s the right medium to communicate that message?”.

Tanisha joined Goodpatch as a Growth Manager. She empowers our team, clients, and partners to bring abstract ideas to life. Connect with her on LinkedIn!

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