I was very fortunate to spend an hour or so debating sales and bid management over lunch yesterday. My lunch date, Chris Whyatt, is a wealth of knowledge and someone I look up to as a leader in the field of pursuit management, bridging the gap between sales and bidding.
We spent most of the lunch making new pursuit processes stick. And how consultation, encouragement and feedback are vital to removing friction from change programmes.
The Banana Principle, set out in the article linked below, surmises that people will always find the route of least resistance when making decisions and developing habits. This is articulated through the example that people will generally pick a banana over an orange from the free fruit bowl in the office, not because bananas are tastier than oranges, but because they're easier to eat.
Thinking about some of the new processes we are implementing at Mace, the importance of finding friction in the system, and then consulting, discussing and seeking feedback, feels like a critical step in the implementation.
In the pursuit of a better way, change has to be adopted and embedded across our organisation, and in the areas I'm responsible for, increasing the amount of discussion, debate and feedback will only have a positive impact on the results we are trying to achieve.
A little shout out for Chris, who is an amazing mentor to me. Chris's consultancy, Get to Great, works with senior management teams in tech, manufacturing and consulting to improve business and pursuits management, from transforming sales processes to carrying out market and sector business planning. I would encourage you to connect with Chris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriswhyatt/
Friction is the force that slows things down. Most trains combat friction by applying grease to the tracks. The world’s fastest trains, like China’s 217.5 mph bullet, use magnets to make the trains float above the tracks. Consider how this analogy applies to the way employees operate. What positive actions are thwarted by small obstacles? What bad habits are easy to continue? How might you introduce friction so that detrimental behaviors are harder to start?