Most Annual Financial Reports aren’t great reading. They are dry, dull and boring.
But one of the most anticipated and read company Annual Financial Reports around the World is that of Berkshire Hathaway, headed by billionaire investor, Warren Buffett.
It is a lesson in how to communicate effectively. The introduction to their Annual Report begins “Fifty years ago, today’s management took charge at Berkshire. For this Golden Anniversary, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger each wrote his views of what has happened at Berkshire during the past 50 years and what each expects during the next 50. Neither changed a word of his commentary after reading what the other had written.” What an enticing invitation to read further.
By telling stories of the history, the performance and mistakes, the reader feels empathy and connects with the content. It engages and conveys the key messages far more effectively than statistics could ever do.
I highly recommend reading the history of Berkshire, linked here, that demonstrates the power of telling a story to inspire. More leaders should take note and follow Warren Buffett’s incredible example in their Annual Reports.