Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hey I'm in Sales - According to Dan Pink.

I've been a Dan Pink fan for a while. I heard him Keynote as ASTD International Conference & Expo in Chicago in 2010 and went out and bought his book on intrinsic motivation, Drive, immediately. I then went and bought his previous one "A whole new mind" which is about how right brained thinkers are making a resurgence.  Both great books that I would highly recommend.
So when I heard that he was coming out with a new one I was excited. When I heard that one of the main ideas in it was how useful improvisational skills are to the modern business world I almost died of happiness.
Dan is on a book tour right now, and last week (on the first day of my new gig!) he was speaking at the JCC in San Francisco. Now as the JCC is 2 blocks from us and Sarah and I are members at the fitness center there I could not resist.

So I left Mountain view at just gone 4:15 and drove back up to SF. Parked the car and headed over. Met Sarah and sat down to hear him sell his book about selling.

The book is called "To Sell is Human" and his basic argument is that although 1 in 9 people in North America are "in sales" (according to statistics and self defined answers to questions) if you look at what all the rest of us do we are also selling. What Dan calls "non-sales selling" This happens when we spend our time trying to persuade people (or move them as he says) to give us something of value (time, attention, resources, money, support) in exchange for something we have to offer. His figures show that about 40% of our time is spent doing that. When I reflected on how I spent most of my time at SumTotal I get to probably 60% or more.  My new gig is too early to say.

So Dan tells us that to be successful in the new world of non-sales selling (and sales as well) there is a new ABC to think about. Instead of Always Be Closing we should concentrate on Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.
And three tools to help us with all that are Pitch, Improvise and Serve.

I recommend reading more, buying his book and/or seeing him on the tour.

If you are lucky I may put some more onto this blog.

Happy Learning.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Challenges

2012 was a big year for my family and I. We upped sticks and moved half way across the country and at the end of the year I resigned from SumTotal and I'll be starting a new consulting role with a great 'post-startup' in Silicon Valley with my own consulting company  IMPROVing Organizations.  

In addition being 2000 miles away I'm leaving the Chicagoland Chapter of ASTD and my position on the board and instead getting active with two chapters out here in the Bay Area. I'm joining the board at Golden Gate Chapter and will be a regular attendee at Mt Diablo Chapter.
I'm taking on a programming role at Golden Gate chapter and so I have a responsibility to set up speakers for the monthly Chapter meetings

So I'm going to ask you my loyal reader(s) what would get you to come to a meeting? What topic or topics would you like to see covered? One option we are looking at is trying to make sure we align to the ASTD Competency model. There are 10 'Areas of Expertise' and we would like to align each meeting to one or more of those AOEs. How does that sound to you?

One of the things that Darin Hartley mentioned was that blog comment counts are a great indicator of how much a blog is being read. By that rating, I'm talking to myself. But as this is as much a way for me to organize my thoughts as anything else I'm going to continue.  It would be nice, even so, to hear from you.

Happy 2013 and Happy Learning.