Rarely in my experience does an idea come to me without the help or assistance of something I’ve read (or someone I’ve talked with) while in search of an answer for a client.
This couldn’t be more true than lately, as I’ve taken on a number of projects that have pushed me beyond creative limits. I’ve had to draw from not only my own skill set and experience - but from experts outside my network; borrowing new concepts and applying these to my own business challenges.
The business development expert I recently borrowed from is Scott Pollack. Despite my years of tangible business development experience, Scott’s article (“What is exactly is Business Development?”) helped me to pinpoint a client’s business direction within a structured framework; one that now I tend to draw upon regularly when solving a business challenge. Scott’s article is one of the few articles I’ve come across that actually explains business development; a creative interplay between customers, relationships and markets. You can read Scott’s articles on Forbes here - and you can also find Scott via his new business development community, firneo.com.
The second thinking that clicked with me was from retail expert Steve Dennis. Searching for new trends and concepts relative to small footprint retail - on behalf a non-profit client - I came across Steve’s Forbes article “Small is the new Black...”. In it he details today's retail realities and the connectedness of online sales to bricks-and-mortar store locations. Having spent time on the sales floor as a retail employee, Steve’s article gave me the language and understanding to articulate my experience and intuition to solve my client’s dilemma. So if you’re hunting for retail insights and value innovative thinking, check out Steve’s articles here. You can also find him at sageberryconsulting.com.
The last article that made me smarter recently is actually from two people, Robert J. Aiello and Michael D. Watkins and their Harvard Business Review article “The Fine Art of Friendly Acquisitions”. While I’ve had some experience on the Mergers & Acquisitions front (small business buyout with public company), there certainly wasn’t any structure to my process at the time, and this article would have proved invaluable during the due diligence and negotiation period. Their article expertly lays out and reviews a repeatable acquisition process by highlighting the value of a open mindset and the priorities that accompany most successful acquisitions. Check out their HBR article here.
So thank you to each of the experts and authors above, for growing me personally and professionally - which in turn of course, helps generate actionable solutions for my clients.
Who could you thank this week?