In Press Release
New book with Wiley & Sons, business unit to challenge professionals to gain the discipline and decisiveness to make a bigger impact by saying less

Downers Grove, Ill –

Brevity belongs in business.

Sheffield, a boutique agency specializing in narratives and visual storytelling, today announced the launch of a new business unit, The BRIEF Lab. Managing director and founder, Joseph McCormack, also revealed the early 2014 release of his new book, BRIEF, in partnership with business publisher John Wiley & Sons.

“Get people to tune in, or they’ll tune you out,” says McCormack. “Today, professional success means getting to the point faster and more convincingly. The book and the business build that muscle. ”

In an era of constant connectivity, non-stop interruption and relentless change, brevity is the best weapon to break through. Here is a snap shot of growing pressures that demand every professional gets better at brevity:

  • Information Inundation
    • The average professional receives 304 e-mails per week
    • They check their smartphones 36 times an hour and 38 hours a week
    • They touch more information in a day than a person did in a lifetime in 1900
    • 22% of CEO’s report having absolutely no down time and spend 1/3 of their time in meetings
  • Interruptions
    • They get interrupted every eight minutes, or 50-60 times a day
    • It takes 20-25 minutes to regain the same level of focus present before the interruption
  • Inattention
    • Average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 in 2012
    • Attention studies reveal that the first break in attention occurs at 30 seconds, the next at five minutes and after that every two minutes
  • Impatience
    • The average professional uses 13 different methods to control or manage their time

“I want to challenge people to raise their game,” says McCormack. “Brevity is not a nicety but a non-negotiable standard to stand out when others struggle around you to be succinct.”

The BRIEF Lab will offer a variety of workshops, seminars and personal coaching at its suburban Chicago and Southern Pines, NC facilities. There will be levels of certification in lean communication with courses such as the Intro to BRIEF – Art of the Elevator Speech, BRIEF Management, BRIEFings and BRIEF Media, where participants will become fluent in the art of being succinct.

BRIEF, a methodology McCormack developed for the U.S. Special Operations Command, originally helped elite members of our military explain the most complex of missions. Due to its success, this curriculum was adapted for corporate leaders who experienced the same need for brevity.

McCormack continues to work closely with Fortune 500 business leaders at companies like Harley-Davidson, BMO Harris Bank, W.W. Grainger and MasterCard to help them simplify their strategy and how it’s communicated. Previously, he served as SVP, Corporate Marketing at Ketchum, a top-five marketing agency in Chicago.

The book is filled with real-life anecdotes and practical insights from McCormack’s 25+ years of experience. It advocates a new form of ADD to become clear and concise: awareness (why it’s needed), discipline (how to achieve it) and decisiveness (when and where to use it).

For more information, please contact Sarah Vazquez via email at


Brevity is a language. The BRIEF Lab is a specialty institute that helps people learn this language, become fluent in it and master it. It empowers professionals to become lean communicators – helping them cultivate the discipline and decisiveness to be clear and concise when sharing vital information. The BRIEF LAB curriculum focuses on minimizing verbal waste and creating more listener value. For a full list of workshops, please visit the website:

About The Book

BRIEF is a book that pulls no punches. Being clear and concise is how successful executives operate. It’s what they expect and they are unforgiving when it doesn’t happen. Authored by Joe McCormack, BRIEF is based on a proven step-by-step approach that Fortune 500 CEOs, award-wining entrepreneurs and high-ranking military officers have embraced.

BRIEF will be published by John Wiley & Sons and available for purchase in February of 2014. To place a pre-order, please call (630) 310-5190. Or, to learn more about the book, please visit the website:

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