Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.
How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought:
Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The UnInterview: Presenting Business Intelligence to a Receptive Executive
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories
By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories
"A simple cue can heighten an experience through a single sense. Many experience stagers start with a list of impressions and then develop the theme. The transition begins when you give away experiences in order to sell existing offerings. You're not truly selling an experience unless you charge admission. Your experience won't be worth an admission fee until you stop giving it away for free. Not only retail stores but entire shopping malls will charge admission. The history of economic progress consists of charging a fee for what once was free. In business-to-business situations, stage experiences where customers pay you to sell to them."
B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”
DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. You've been invited by a senior person -- a decision-maker who can employ you or purchase your products, services, experiences or transformations -- for a specific purpose. That purpose is to discuss the mutual interest you both share and to hear about your proposal based on solid information and your thorough research.
Journal of 2020 Foresight: If your agenda is an outline for presenting your proposal, how does it flow?
J2020F: If I follow your advice?
Explorer: Right! You've uncovered something you can do for the target, a problem you can help solve, some need the target knows about and doesn't consider a problem yet -- which you nevertheless can meet.
J2020F: Such as?
Explorer: How do we know, you did the research!
J2020F: Smart aleck!
Explorer: It might be: cost reduction, sales increase, growth, new applications of their services or products, bringing in an entirely new approach, increased prestige, efficiency, etc. or some opportunity you can create that your target has never thought of.
Eagle: Of course that something starts with your strongest and most enjoyable skills.
J2020F: Ah, I like this already. What happens first?
Explorer: You will encounter three phases in a quality interview, although no two will be alike.
Eagle: Within the framework of your general enthusiasm, what is the great idea that you have to contribute toward solving the target's problems?
Explorer: The target may decide the proposal is so sound it doesn't need much further discussing.
J2020F: So, that’s the first phase. I like it even more. In the second phase?
Explorer: You answer the question, who can carry it out?
Eagle: Who better than the person who thought it up?
J2020F: You took the works out of my mouth.
Explorer: Your target may be satisfied that you have the necessary functional skills to carry it out, so you won't spend too much time selling your specific experience.
Explorer: Really, because you’ve already shown initiative by approaching her and doing your homework.
J2020F: Now, I’m loving this approach. What happens in the third phase?
Explorer: The third phase, usually meanders as if the target is beating around the bush. It is really about figuring out what kind of person are you.
J2020F: Like what exactly?
Eagle: He means like, can you work with others using imagination and creativity?
Explorer: Do you have a big picture of the world today?
Eagle: Are you conversant with changing technical and social trends?
J2020F: Whoa. That may be way too open ended for me.
Explorer: Not if you are prepared.
J2020F: Prepared in what way?
Explorer: Prepare for the interview by asking what does the target need to know in order to make an intelligent decision about you?
Eagle: Make it easy to buy you.
J2020F: Oh, I get it. If I were on the other side of the table doing the interviewing, I'd want to know the answers to some key questions, right?
Explorer: Right. Three types of questions: Why are you here?
Eagle: He doesn't want to hear because I want a job or because you invited me.
J2020F: Darn. That’s where I was going.
Eagle: She doesn't want to hear about you, he's only thinking about his own intelligent self-interest.
Explorer: She wants to hear a variation of the following script, but in your own words:
As you have learned from our earlier communication with each other, I am fascinated by what you do (if it isn't true, you shouldn't be there).
As is true for you, the _____ field (or market or industry, etc.) has been one of my passions all of my life.
During the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in (an aspect of the field, etc. that you want to talk about, and why).
J2020F: O.K. So I can see this is where the research about the community, the industry, the company all of it pays off.
Eagle: And, now you are beginning to set up your passions, experience, knowledge and interests in the form of a value proposition. The script continues:
I have, of course, kept a pretty close eye on developments in this, and the more I studied it the more convinced I became that the key to the solution lies in (here you introduce your proposal).
As this conviction grew in my mind, I began conducting an exhaustive investigation of every single leading organization that was active in our field, like (name others, name the targets).
Because while the key to the problem is, as I have indicated, relatively simple, it's going to take some extremely intelligent, open-minded, forward-thinking people to get it through.
The outcome of my survey was the discovery that in my estimation you and your people stand head and shoulders above everyone else in this field.
I believe you are the group best qualified to do it, and that is why I am here.
J2020F: Wow. On the one hand that seems like a very bold approach. And, yet on the other hand it seems very systematic and logical. Now what?
Explorer: You have to prepare for the next question – one that follows from the first: Precisely what can you do for me?
Eagle: There’s no gulp about it. You effortlessly transition to the next script:
You say, specifically, your _____ needs tightening up, as we both know.
The type of thing that I think would be invaluable in (reducing costs, or whatever problem you are zeroing in on) is _______.
It would, I think, result in ______ (be totally specific here).
J2020F: What if you are self-employed and therefore offering a product or service instead?
Eagle: You will of course adapt the above to fit your particular situation. But the approach is basically the same.
Explorer: And regardless, if you've done your work thoroughly your target will be fascinated with this brilliant idea of yours.
Eagle: And the conversation will change its focus from you, to it.
J2020F: But what if they’ve already tried what I’m proposing and it crashed and burned in a big explosion?
Explorer: Hopefully, some one in the chain of introductions will have alerted you. But, you bring up a good point. There will, of course, be factors that you could not possibly have known about from the outside, and hence possibly flaws in your brilliant idea.
Eagle: But your target will be thinking: with a mind like that, based on the information you've gotten on the outside, what could you do if you were on the inside?
J2020F: By my count, you covered two out of three questions, what's the third?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.
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