Sales, sales and more sales

Sat and listened to the rock-and-roll sales training spectacular that is Mike Southon‘s Sales on a Beermat. Well worth the time and effort to get to Ludgate Circus for 08:45. Great fun and extremely useful – if you have to do sales and you haven’t had this experience then get onto ecademy and do it, as soon as you can.

Luckily, I already had a coffee booked in with my favourite customer, Stuart Dickenson of DfES. The time in Victoria St *$s flew by, catching up on how the rest of the 5-year-strategy launch went and what’s going on now.

On the way back I jumped off the bus in Trafalgar Sq and walked up to the office – snapping for the photoblog as I went.

Perfect Path Creed Redux

Thinking about elevator pitches this morning – of which more later.

OK – I sell knowledge management consulting. That means I do workshops, awaydays, mentoring, interim management, public speaking and some poor clients occasionally commission me to write them a report.

But what differentiates me from other KM consultants who do those things? Well I am a bit different, personally – I don’t know how to describe it but you get a flavour of that from reading what I write here. And I think a bit differently (I swing wildly along the techno-fetishist fluffy bunny spectrum).

I also mainly help public sector clients – and the things they need are sometimes very different from commercial folk (though often frighteningly similar).

The creed is getting refined and this is how I wrote it today as the elevator doors squeak to a close behind me:

I believe that much of the pain we feel as managers in modern organisations comes from trying to apply management thinking and methods that are 100 years out of date and which were developed to solve a very different set of problems.

My understanding is that nobody has worked out a one-size-fits-all set of techniques for managing people in knowledge-based organisations and that it’s possible (probable?) that no such o-s-f-a set exists.

What I do is help people work out what are the right techniques for them and their colleagues to use today and to see how they can really use them for organisational benefit – however they may perceive that.

My experience has been that this usually requires them to find ways of being comfortable with their own creativity, and to nurture the creativity of others around them, while at the same time coming to feel at home with technology that is evolving very very quickly.