Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"God forgives those who invent what they need." Ayn Rand

"The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance." George Balanchine

Image: Grandfather's pocketwatch inner workings by The Rocketeer. Very cool. Thanks.

They Ponder Layoffs, But Executives Still Face Gaps in Talent: column by WSJ's In the Lead writer Carol Hymowitz (WSJ 1/28)....

"Next to the stock market, what CEOs talk about most is their lack of bench strength, says executive recruiter Peter Crist of Crist Associates. "Their inefficiency at succession planning is keeping me very busy," he says."

The important lesson here is about HRD. What, exactly, are you doing to develop your people?

That new sales os: WSJ's Phred Dvorak writes Next in Line for Reinvention: The Art of Selling (WSJ 1/28) and speaks with management consultant Ram Charan...

How does the sales force have to change?

Mr. Charan: The old salesperson: gregarious personality, very sociable. Plays golf. Goes to ballgames. Quick to link with people. Highly motivated. Long hours. Very perceptive in reading other people. The more successful ones know how to close the deal. It's still useful.

Going forward, the salesperson must build trust with the customers' people that's deeper than before and sustained over time. You cannot design a solution without information from the customer. And if the customer does not trust you, he or she will not give you information.

WSJ:What else has to change?

Mr. Charan: In the old game, one person could do the selling. In the new game, you need a team from your company. The reason you need a team is the solution you're going to create is going to come from different parts of your company.

That means salespeople have to be good leaders, to lead their team, and also persuade the customer team. Because customers also buy in teams."

Exactly, the right pov.

Jason Fry writes the Real Time column at WSJ, he has done an excellent new piece headed Beyond the Album...

"...In the digital age, physical CDs have become a clumsy way to package songs, a plastic spacesuit for the journey between the digital environment of record-company servers and the digital environment of a consumer's PC, iPod or phone. Now throw in the fact that consumers have resented the music-CD formats for years, deriding CDs as typically a couple of good songs and a bunch of filler, or asking why a movie soundtrack often costs more than the movie itself. Call the first contention unfair and the second ignorant of the different economics of the movie and music industries if you wish, but good luck convincing consumers in your local Best Buy."

Related WSJ Forum (comments) How Do You Buy Digital Music? here.

Bonus: Paulo Coelho

Paulo's brilliant keynote leading off the session on Creating Universes at the DLD conference Uploading the 21st Century. David Silverman, Carolyn Porco and Oliviero Toscani follow Paulo. Highly recommended.

Link: sevenload.com