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5-15 Report: The Report for People Who Have No Time for Reports

5-15 ReportRecently, a coaching client of mine in a global 100 company vented about how much time his department spends writing reports that go unread by company leaders. I told him about 5-15 reports. The concept is simple–the report should take no more than 5 minutes to read and no more than 15 minutes to write. Better yet, these weekly reports allow team members to communicate successes without feeling awkward, capture important lessons, demonstrate awareness of next steps, and alert you to setbacks without asking for support.

I first ran across 5-15 reports inGrowing a Business by Paul Hawken. My company was growing 50% compounded annually per year, and I found it difficult to manage information. Responding to similar pressure, Yvon Chouinard, CEO of Patagonia, designed 5-15 reports as an upward and efficient channel of communication. Here’s how they’re structured:


Week Ending: / /

Accomplishments for the week:
[List completed activities and notable accomplishments. In general, what is working? What is your current state?]

Priorities for next week:
[List priority tasks for next week. Be specific.]

Challenges/ Roadblocks:
[Imagine and describe potential challenges that may impede planned tasks.]

Lessons Learned/Opportunities for Improvement:
[List any areas that may benefit from improvement. What questions are you trying to solve? What is a lesson that you recently learned or relearned?]

That’s it. Short and simple, but effective and efficient.

About the Author

Gary Cohen is a highly-skilled Executive Coach, Leadership Author, Trainer, and International Keynote Speaker. His clients range from entrepreneurial CEOs of the nation’s fastest-growing companies to executives of global 100 companies. He differentiates himself from traditional (psycho/therapeutic) executive coaches by bringing a vast amount of business experience as a former Founder / President of one the Nation’s Fastest growing companies. He is the author of Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill). Gary B. Cohen Full Bio

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