The parts of most organization are not only internally disconnected by the trap op the Tower of Babel. The internal dialogue has stopped.
Most organizations are also externally disconnected to their primary source of wealth, the customer. If the organization of the customer is in the same state of confusion the problem seems to be unsolvable.
The solution to this problem is really easy. To solve the problem we have to leave behind the concept of the hierarchical organization.
We have to realize that an organization is a network of human beings and this network is connecting many organizations.
It is proven that every human on earth is connected by a chain that has a maximum of seven steps. When we look at a specialized network the amount of steps is much lower (in general three). Most of the managers don’t realize this.
The consequence of this shift in paradigm is that every employee of every organization is a potential customer and a salesman.
A programmer is selling to programmers, a trainer is selling to trainers, a manager is selling to managers and a CEO is selling to CEO’s. They all tell a different story but the story they tell is understood by their partners in the Network. If we are able to connect all the different stories by organizing a dialogue of understanding, a generic story will be created. Creating a joint story (a myth) takes time but it is not necessary to wait for the perfect story. Every story that resonates is a good story.
It is not wise for a programmer to spend all his time in selling. His main task is to program. The solution to this problem is to combine “working and selling”. When a programmer works in the organization of the customers, doing his job, he is selling. A good performing motivated programmer sells without selling.
A software package is easily sold if the employees of the company use their own tools and are enthusiastic about the use of the tools.
The consequence of this insight is that a software company has to use his own product all the time and focus itself on “doing joint projects”. A combination of employees of the customer and employees of the software company will speed up the dialogue.
A very important point is to create short-term and long-term feedback-mechanisms. We have to close the cycle at every level as soon as possible.
The effect of feed-back is that every action of every employee returns on himself when the cycle is closed. The employee is able to take responsibility, learn from his mistakes and improve his behavior. If this is done on every level, the organization will spiral. It will move up without loosing the whole.
Now we have to find out what connection will be the most effective. It is the area where we have to focus the efforts of the specialists in selling. Again we have to look at the cycle of business. We have to find the generator of business in society. If we find this generator it will propagate the package in every network if the myth of the package runs like a fire.
Everybody knows that the generator in business is the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). Selling to SME’s is simple when you are able to convince the entrepreneurs. Big companies are also networks of SME’s. The priority of sales has to be given to the entrepreneurs in business. Most of the time they are situated in what is called the Business Unit in a Big Company.
To sell you need to talk the language (tell the story) of the Entrepreneur. The consequence of this Insight is that Sales People have to be former entrepreneurs in Business that are still acting in their network. These people are called charismatic leaders or boundary spanners.