Three steps? We’re working on it.

Anyone who has had to sit through one of my training sessions will know that I’m a really big fan of Seth Godin.

His insights into marketing and customer behaviour are packed with common sense and desire for top spot on the podium rather than the disconsolate walk back to the changing room.

I’ve been reading a collection of his blog posts in his book small is the new Big and came across one entitled secrets to success yesterday.  You can go to the link to see the whole thing, which I would heartily recommend, but in the meantime here is the one point that really got me thinking:

“Desire to be three steps ahead. One step is easy. One step isn’t enough. If you’re only one step ahead, you’ll get creamed before you launch. Two steps is tempting. Two steps means that everyone understands what you’re up to when you pitch them. Two steps means that you can get funded in no time. Two steps is a problem. It’s a problem because the smart guys are three steps ahead. They’re the groundbreakers and the pathfinders. They’re the ones inventing the next generation. It’s harder to sell, harder to build and harder to get your mother-in-law to understand, but that’s what’s worth building.”

From now on we’re going to be aiming for three steps, and encouraging our clients to do the same.

hellen @ missioncontrol

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Put your chequebook away now

Here’s a simple fact.

If you are going to organise an event of any kind it is probably going to cost you more than that figure you plucked from mid-air in the management meeting.  Not least because once you’ve decided to call a meeting, hold a conference or take your sales team for a bit of bonding you will get all inspired to add the odd extra here and there.

But if thrift is the order of the day there are lots of ways to accomplish your goals without breaking the bank.

  • Keep the guest list really tight – does the CEOs nephew really need to come as well?
  • Take a good look at your office – are the facilities of your boardroom as good as the hotel you were thinking of booking?  Why not spend some of cash you would have spent on the hire charge on sprucing it up.
  • Want to motivate your staff?  Rather than trying to find an activity that will appeal to all why not hire a motivational speaker for the afternoon to entertain and re-energise.
  • Do something small on a regular basis rather than something big once a year.
  • Bring your clients and customers together for breakfast or afternoon tea.  Travel to them rather than paying for them all to come to you.

If you are planning an event that requires something more sophisticated, make sure you shop around.  There is a lot of choice, and depending upon your timing, some great deals to be had.  If you don’t have to have your event in peak season (February-June, September-November) there will be some terrific bargains to be had.  And make sure you look beyond the normal conference hotels, some of the best customer service is delivered in the cosy confines of private clubs.