In our business acumen workshops, managers talk about how they organize their kitchen or their clothes. There’s a lot of laughter as the obsessive-compulsives in the room get outed for their color-matching proclivities.
The important lesson is that we can obscure financial information by how we aggregate, slice and describe it.
For example, when a mining company’s sales are reported on its income statement by type of mineral rather than by mining region, it can disguise how much of the company's activities happen in dodgy places.
Back in the classroom, our recent favorite classification was a student who said she organized the novels on her bookshelf by how the authors would get along. Who needs alphabetic when you have that kind of insight?