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The One-Pager Getting Everyone on the Same Page

According to Jim Kwik in his book Limitless, humans forget approximately 50% of what they learn within an hour. And an average of 70% within 24 hours. That’s some hard truth to swallow. Unfortunately, these same forgetful brains are what we bring with us to work each day.

The forgetting curve is just one of the many challenges to team “alignment.” Even as Co-Founder of Room 214, if someone asked me, “what are you doing to advance the company’s current priorities?”, would I be able to answer clearly? It’s not necessarily that I forgot. It’s that I — like you, probably — have a ton of decisions coming my way on an hourly basis. The wheels are on the track. Which means, like all of us, sometimes I can end up acting without intention.

Just about every client we work with discusses issues with “alignment.” But beyond that business buzzword, we’ve found an even greater pursuit: “coherence.”

coherence noun

co·​her·​ence | \ kō-ˈhir-ən(t)s , -ˈher- \

the quality of being logical and consistent; the quality of forming a unified whole; the situation when the parts of something fit together in a natural or reasonable way

Coherence comes from the Latin word cohaerere, meaning “to stick together” — something we’re especially passionate about in 2020. At Room 214, we were on the hunt for a simple tool to spark coherence. Finally, we designed our own: The Coherence Statement, the one-pager you never knew you needed.

Our clients light up when they read the Coherence Statements we’ve written for them. And it becomes their golden tablet: the collective clarity they need to move with intention. We simplify the message in a powerful expression of views and actions everyone can understand, recall, and use.

The Coherence Statement

Is grounded in the needs of the core customer and the Job to Be Done for the customer

Is aimed at pursuing differentiation and category leadership

Provides easy to understand, long-term guidance for making game-time decisions

Evolves with the degree of product-market “fitness”

Embraces growth opportunities

Coherence Statements for different organizations will, of course, look very different from each other. I want to share a quick example I hope is helpful to you now:

Sample Coherence Statement for a Marketing Organization

We can test and iterate quickly, but we also need a long-term plan to work coherently across brand, marketing, and sales. We will operate with structure, accountability, a coordinated effort, and an inspired vision we are all willing to fight for.

Own it: speak a common language

    • Develop our brand guidelines and messaging framework
    • Foster our team’s understanding of the purpose, guiding principles, and theories behind our method
    • Infuse a powerful, personal point of view into our writing by refining our tone of voice and personality

Sell it: talk about it with more people in more places

    • Pursue thought leadership and domain authority
    • Outbound: Commit to establishing true thought leadership by consistently being part of the right conversations
    • Inbound: Create powerful assets to support new sales and marketing efforts

Live it: integrate our methodology into all of our work

    • Continue evolving internal practices
    • Apply our principles to all current clients where appropriate
    • Report back regularly on our progress
    • Expand the global network of businesses applying our methodology

With this one-page Coherence Statement sample, anyone across the entire team can find where they have an impact and create value for others. Now the Director of Insights (who conducts customer interviews), the Digital Media Buyer (who sets up paid advertising displays), and SEO specialist (who optimizes keywords and content for organic search) have one common denominator.

Because, on any given day, each of them won’t have the time to delve into a 100+ strategic planning deck. Instead, they can turn to the Coherence Statement to ensure their work is grounded in these pursuits.

Now, I’m not saying that a one-pager is a silver bullet for all your problems. But we have seen how it helps you move with confidence and in the right direction. Want some help with this? Get in touch.


This blog was also published on Medium

James Clark

James Clark

James is compassionate, intuitive and fiercely loyal. He is a master of marketing theories (Jobs To Be Done, Traction, Product Market Fit, Crossing the Chasm and Category Design) and adheres by Bruce Lee’s approach of: Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. He believes customers hold the secret to exponential growth


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