MECE [pronounced me-see] is a principle developed by Barbara Minto (McKinsey) in the 1960s. That’s what Wikipedia says, at least. And if you’re wondering what it stands for…
MECE is Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive, it’s a problem solving framework for most levels on the complexity scale. I say most because I haven’t used the framework to figure out how to do complicated s#!t like building reusable, self-landing rockets or boiling an egg to perfection - yikes! 😱
Anyhoo, issue trees are at the core of MECEs…it's the skeleton 💀. Let’s take a look at an example of what a MECE based issue tree would look like. Obviously, this individual has at least one thing figured out in life - that there’s a legitimate appetite for “Asian food” (whatever the f*#k that is) - and the real conundrum seems to be where to source the food from. In the real world Level 1 (represented by ‘Eat In’ and ‘Eat Out’) will be the most difficult to figure out. Not to say the rest is easy but you’ll gain clarity on subsequent levels as you move further down.
PS - “Asian Food” is so broad that theres an opportunity to split each one of those components into:
North Asian, South Asian, East Asian, West Asian, Central Asia, Southeast Asia
Chinese, Afghan, Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc, etc.
The objective is to leave no stone unturned because anything missed will likely lead to ineffective or weak decisions.
This structure and format can be used for virtually any decision or guidance that one requires. Here are a few examples of what one can expect to tear-down and analyze for better insight, decision making, and theoretical how-to:
🏫 How to receive a college education for a tenth of the cost
👩💻 How to land an executive level role without executive experience
💴 How to raise a million dollar round before ever building a product
👟 How to burn fat ridiculously fast (I went from 205 to 175 in two months)
To be perfectly clear, these aren’t solution hacking approaches - the focus is on sustainability. Using MECE, First Principles Thinking, Pareto and other models, the idea is to create durable solutions that will make a lasting impact.