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5 Things Every CEO Should Know About IBCS®

Publication date: 3 June 2021

When it comes to data reporting, data collaboration, and ‘streamlining’ these processes across an organization, the International Business Communication Standards (IBCS®) are the obvious choice. Not only do they simplify reports for every decision-maker involved but also everyone else in the organization, which is vital for businesses reliant on high standards of communication.

For C-Suite executives, IBCS® presents a uniform methodology that accelerates business decision-making and allows them to confidently ‘steer the ship’, with data as its main navigation tool. Let’s take a look at a few aspects of IBCS® that made business leaders enamored with it across industries.

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1. Globally renowned standard of communication

IBCS® is used by some of the biggest organizations in the world. It is a tried and tested communication standard founded on simplicity, usability, and actionability. In a nutshell, the ultimate goal of IBCS® is to make every report understandable at a glance.

2. Establishing clarity of information everywhere

One phenomenon of missing standards in communication is that you keep asking yourself: “What is this about? What does it mean?” Let’s say several people in the same organizations prepare reports on a regular basis for teams but do not use a unified standard, the result will be a poor basis for decision-making. Standards make business communication as clear as a green traffic light. 

How often have you asked yourself after a presentation of numbers, graphs and illustrations, “Does this make any sense to me?” With IBCS®, those reports become clear and so that a decision is only a matter of a formality.

3. Simplifying and decluttering data reports

The essence of IBCS® standards is described in the word SUCCESS – their main principles.

  • SAY – Convey a message: Business communication is not marketing – people want to know what the outcome is. The image carries the message necessary for making a decision.
  • UNIFY- Apply semantic notation: A forecast or an actual status is unmistakably recognizable in color and graphic. The presentation is simplified and you don’t feel confused or overwhelmed. Things are recognizable at a glance. We are able to see the value because everything is transparent.
  • CONDENSE – Increase information density: Information is compressed and condensed in one place so that comparisons can be made at a glance. The result: We can recognize and compare a large quantity of information on a single page.
  • CHECK – Ensure visual integrity: The correctness is ensured at this point. The periods shown are complete and period-only. The key figures are always calculated using the same method. These values are scaled consistently and show the state of matters at a glance, without having to rely on the interpretations and remarks of others.
  • EXPRESS – Choose proper visualization: Only standards that are consistent in all reports, presentations, proposals and investment plans are used. They are as simple as the emergency exit sign.
  • SIMPLIFY – Avoid clutter: It’s totally exhausting to look at things and then have to think about their meaning. Yes, maybe you will not get a graphic price for it, but you can give your investor a sense of security because he can see how profitable it is. This is not the place for corporate design – this is where we aim for clarity.
  • STRUCTURE – Organize content: Here we make sure that we compare equal with equal. In our analyses, we are always amazed by how things that seemingly have nothing in common are related to each other.

4. Accelerating business decision-making 

The direct consequence of simplified, decluttered, and action-ready reports is… well, the action. Making business decisions that are backed by data; clear, understood, and supported by everyone is nothing if not a relief for executive decision-makers.

“Imagine you are looking at a business proposition that is simple, clear and unambiguous, full of accurate and applicable data.” That’s what IBCS® feels like in action. It enables faster, clearer, and better business decisions in any given moment, especially long-term.

5. Increasing confidence in business decisions

What if your decision did not depend on the skill of the presentation or the courtesy of the graphics? It’s easy to say you only make decisions based on facts. But without standardized facts, it is only an emotional decision. With IBCS®, you can make those decisions confidently, because you know they are based on facts, on your business data, on actionable information.

Ultimately, that is exactly what the job of a CEO or any manager should be all about – the confidence to make the right decisions at the right time – every time.

You want to know more about IBCS®. Expand your knowledge in one of our IBCS® Online-Seminars or watch the IBCS® Demo

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