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Read this excerpt from an actual technical report: Inventory control analysis reveals excessive flow-through processing time. From purchase to point of sale, the inventory holding time is eight weeks. The warehousing costs along with this slow turnover rate cost an estimated $200,000 per year in unnecessary delays and expenses. Change of the process is in order. When this report came across the desk of the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), he was concerned. While it stated important facts about the company’s inventory control issues, it was overly technical for a speech he needed to make. Given the broad audience of community members and line employees to which the speech would be presented, this was not acceptable. The CEO took out his pen and revised the report, still providing the factual information but adding this message: I know we have great intentions. All the same, we are holding our products too long before we sell them in the stores. Without realizing it, we are hoarding precious produce, stealing opportunities from hungry customers who beg to see our latest designs. Unless we change, we inadvertently risk gobbling up slices of our future bonus pie. Thus, the CEO livened up the original report by discussing the issue in terms of we and by using a metaphor that likened the company’s products to produce, or food. Both strategies helped make the report more accessible to its broad audience, especially the less technically oriented members. This motivated employees to make a rapid turnaround in procedures. What likely would have resulted if the report had been distributed in its original form? Would most audience members have understood the facts of the situation? Would most have understood the need for change? Why or why not?
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