The bulk of our business development efforts focus on developing relationships, consensus, dialogue, discovery and all of the stuff that gets the contracts signed, the deals done, and the projects delivered on time, under budget with zero defects.
To me, it’s all about those “aha” moments that occur along the way. I try to make them happen a lot. I encourage others on my teams to go for those “aha” moments first. Because they catalyze the rest of what happens in the process. This is about established businesses and startups.
That’s when the magic happens.
It’s difficult to go for the mind-bending “aha” epiphanies when your mind is all over the place on all of the other stuff you are responsible for and committed to.
It’s difficult to go for the “aha” moments because they reside in those grey areas where nothing’s been decided and you thought you were busy herding cats towards arriving at the decision your company wanted them to make.
It’s difficult to arrive at “aha” events unless all parties seated around the table have mutual respect for the value that each of you, as individuals, brings to the discussion.
There is a more powerful , synergistic solution when you collaborate. You need to collaborate in order to get to “aha.”
There’s a selflessness involved in getting to “aha.” And leadership. You and your team arrive at that moment together. If you try to remember who catalyzed the moment where the “aha” happened, everyone will have a different version of how you all got to the same place together. Keith Sawyer, in his book Group Genius, describes innovation in this manner.
That’s why “aha” moments are elusive and remarkable when they happen. They are rare. They define us. We remember those moments, and the teams we were on, for the remainder of our careers.
And all you thought of yourself as being was a sales or engineering solutions provider.
“Aha” moments end up tantalizing us with their possibilities. They challenge us to bring our best to the team at all times. They motivate and inspire us to what our product development and service quality delivery could be all about, if we performed consistently on a more inspired level of professional expertise.
“Aha” moments make people uncomfortable. They should. You, and your team, move 1 millimeter outside your collective comfort levels. You go to a place you didn’t anticipate when you walked into the meeting. Once you get to that creative and innovative place together as a team, you want every team effort to result in that same euphoric place where “aha” moments reside.
It’s raw realization. It’s addicting. It’s inspiring. It changes who we are.
It’s certainly not the status quo.
What have been the “aha” moments in your professional career?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools.