Tag Archives: Careers

What You Can Learn from Long Sales Cycles

I was at a London Tech week event recently and one of the panelists was referring to having been through 3 years sales cycles into banks.  There was some discussion as to what to do in these circs.  Strangely no-one mentioned the obvious conclusion “get a new job!” 🙂 I mean if you are selling a fleet of Airbus or some such you expect the process to take some time – but there is a very big-ticket at the end of it. But just selling something into a bank?!

get a life

But what if it is not quite that bad? What do you need to learn short of moving to Airbus where you would at least land a whale not a fish after 3yrs? Continue reading


Beyond Networking – Micro-Partnerships

Last week I discussed the problems around networking. One key way into this was these two images:






Too much “networking” is of the left variety – sometimes a spark will jump across but rarely.  In most cases in a few months time you have no idea who that contact is on your LinkedIn list.

On the other hand (ha!) it can take some time to get to the right image – walking hand-in-hand in the same direction.  Besides, in a world of change, one rarely walks a long path parallel to any person or organisation. Furthermore in a world of overload one can simply lack the time to develop such a “hand in hand” approach.

The answer is micro-partnerships 🙂 Or for those lean startup fans a different type of “P” in “MVP”. What are they? Continue reading


21stC Networking – Hands, Rifles, Shotguns and the Russian Revolution

You must have had those moments when a topic bombards you from all directions. I had that recently with many different sources suddenly bombarding me on the same topic and all agreeing. Uncanny. To spare you the hassle of being besieged and having to think it through yourself here is the current best-practice, 21stC networking theory.


Let’s start by going back just over a century to a dispute between Lenin and Martov over the editorial board of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party newspaper. From tiny acorns do large oak trees grow and this widens into a split between the Bolsheviks (you’ve heard of them) and Mensheviks (finally some purpose to my history O level 😀 ). Ironically the Bolsheviks (from the Russian for “majority”) believed in a tightly knit cadre (you can see how this led quite easily to dictatorship) and the Mensheviks (“minority”) a much broader-based party.

Just in case you think I have lost the plot 😀 … fast-forwarding – do you, like the Bolsheviks, want  handfuls of “party-members” actively contributing to your cause? Or like the Mensheviks hundreds, thousands of passive “party members” on LinkedIn/Facebook et al?

Right now many people Continue reading



In a couple of weeks I am talking to 100+ 5th and 6th formers at a local school on The World of Work Has Change Forever or and more specifically what this means for teenagers. I have asked a whole bunch of folks for advice they wished they had been given – and if any of you reading this out there on the interweb have any advice please send it in.

I lose control of the audience at my talk

I lose control of the audience at my talk

Now superficially this has little to do with business development. But the interesting thing is that the first two folks that spring to mind as sources are both 21stC business experts I really respect – Seth Godin and James Altucher. And the second thing that springs to mind is how relevant much of Seth’s advice is to folks already in the workforce. Continue reading


Value Encapsulation – the 21stC Key

I resisted this for a long time.  I resisted the “Twitter-isation” of society. So how come I gave in? Why do I now think it’s vital?  Why is it the next 21stC BizDev step which must come after the all-important Value Mining and Refining?

beach-surrender Continue reading


SmallCo? NewCo? String of Pearls or Sausage Machine?

Let’s take the smallest SmallCo – you!  Chances are your career has been rather like a string of pearls … one after another string along a necklace with some gaps.  However where do you get your next pearl from?  In the worst case its tough diving around trying to find those oysters and prying them open.


source: pearlsonly.co.uk

NewCos and often SmallCos operate the same way.  We need that first flagship deal!  OK got it … now we need a second … hmm hang on they want something rather different etc etc,  NewCos and SmallCos can be stuck in pearl territory for a long time, and like most traps, the strongest trap is one you don’t even know you are in. Continue reading


Flowing Smoothly, Struggling as Symptomatic

The Tao – or the way things are – is like a river. Sometimes flowing this way, sometimes that. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast. Sometimes gently, sometimes turbulently.  The connection to our business/personal development is clear. Sometimes business goes smoothly, sometimes our career goes smoothly.  At other times the whole show can go over the edge of a waterfall (cue pretty pic :-))


So what to do about this? How to go beyond trite metaphor to practical application? Continue reading


Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends On It.

Mitch (a marketing/journalist/publicist and uber-interwebby person) must have loved it when Marketing Magazine dubbed him the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing”.  It’s a great by-line and he did work as a rock journalist for a long time and you don’t want to start listening to a conversation between Mitch and Seth on “vinyl” 🙂  Instead you can watch and listen to Seth Godin interview Mitch about the new book and take questions in an event hosted by Google no less:

Mitch is one of my three “must follows” – as in even when I don’t have time and fall behind I will catch up on his material in his blog and great (if a bit “marketing/pr industry” detailed) podcast.  You can check out the book in all the usual places. My aim here is not to add another precis to the internet. Rather I want to draw out some key themes in the context of this blog. Continue reading