Calling Your Creative BLUF


Dan Roan wrote the simple yet insightful book The Back of the Napkin. In it he uses visual thinking to understand and work through issues. I'll cover that in upcoming posts.

An insight he learned from the Marines and Naval officers about communicating ideas is the BLUF principle.

When presenting to a senior officer, always keep BLUF  in mind:

  • Bottom
  • Line
  • Up
  • Front

Put another way, literally: Bottom line up front.  In other words, get to the point immediately. If that is compelling, there will be plenty of time for details later.

Context plays a part, as some decisions must be made in a hurry, under duress, or on a deadline. That's not usually the way of academia, unless it's test time. Business falls in between.

One of the ways we can get to the point quickly is by using thinking tools. Over the next month I'll introduce some of these and demonstrate how you can use them to gain mental clarity and get tasks done in the real world.