A Trigger from Flash Foresight

by Doug Brown

Since 1985, many of the largest organizations of their kind in the world have tapped into Doug's consulting expertise and experience. As a management and sales consultant, Doug works side-by-side with an organization's senior executives and teams of thought leaders on issues of strategic importance. Together they quickly distill what strategies and tactics will be necessary to achieve their desired business results and metrics, whether via top line sales growth or bottom line profitability. Business leaders who relish intellectual stimulation and don't shy away from being asked 'tough questions' will get the greatest benefit as a result of working with Doug. Organizational leaders who are willing to question their own underlying assumptions and proactively embrace change truly appreciate his thought provoking approach. To stay grounded in reality, Doug insists that everyone bring all of their business acumen and common sense to the table. He then finds a way to leverage it to their collective benefit. As a result, they experience a tremendous return on their investment.

I had been listening to a summary of the book, Flash Foresight, by Daniel Burrus with John David Mann. In the book, they identify 7 triggers that can be used to jump start your thought process about what may be needed to transform your life or business.

The specific trigger that they called "Take your biggest problem and skip it", really got my thoughts crankin'. I will admit I was really skeptical and surprised when they introduced the concept. Boy was I in for a paradigm shift of my own.

The premise is to identify the biggest challenge you are facing and proceed to ignore it or set it aside for a bit. Here is their logic. Most people grab the problem, and, in attempt to solve it, get really wrapped around the axle. They don't see the issue from an objective point of view.

I am excited because I was able to combine their thought process with one I used while at Procter & Gamble Manufacturing. The key to solving an issue is acknowledging that what you think is the problem is probably not the problem - - it is only a manifestation of the problem.

Let me provide an example from a sales perspective.

If your sales people are struggling making cold calls and getting appointments, one could go about running a training session or two in an attempt to skill build your way out of the problem.

Using the premise of the book, however, you could ask yourself, what would we have to do to eliminate the root of the issue?

One answer could be to build such high customer or prospect demand leading to so many inbound inquiries, that it renders the sales peoples' inability to generate cold appointments moot. This is similar to a busy doctor's office in a high demand period. The outbound appointment generation ability of the office staff just doesn't matter anymore.

So going forward, ask yourself whether you are surfacing the real issue. As many of you reading this have heard me say, "the power is usually in the question".