The innocent climb

The innocent climb

One of the LA Lakers most famous coaches, Riley, refers to the “innocent climb”, the first step to successful team-building – “when a team comes together unselfishly… and can feel the power surging, so internal rivalries, turf wars and selfish behaviour patterns are set aside“.

And so, when times are tough and more then ever a company needs its entire team pulling together, so many remain fragmented, beset by rivalries, petty little turf wars and pointing fingers – mostly at Sales. And yet the debate is always about which chicken came before which egg or vice versa. Is it Sales? Technical & Design? Production? What about Estimating? Maybe its Finance, maybe they’ll hold things together and save the day? Marketing might even pull something out of the bag?

It is none of these.
The chicken and the egg can only be the client and the market. It is when an entire organisation understands that they need to band together behind the client and the market that an organisation not only survives but thrives. It just so happens that Sales is closest to the market and client. Therefore, get everybody in your business thinking “sales and sales support”.

Over these last months, when all of a sudden folks realised that this was not just the traditional post-festive season malaise, I have seen businesses starting to come together, focusing on what’s important.

I have seen a sales team come together and say: “Let’s forget about our neatly structured and processed world for a while – let’s just organise ourselves so that we can suck up whatever business there is out there. Let’s work for each other and the 110 folks in the factory.”

And, in the absence of a clear organisational plan other than cost-cutting, I’ve seen another sales team get together and find new markets, new products and re-defined the business. Almost over night. Survive today, create tomorrow’s future. Then, they’ve gone back to the business and said: “This is what we’re going to need from you so that we can all make it through. Can we work together?”

The rallying point?
Your flag, your brand. It might be tattered and torn, but each member of staff carries it into battle each day. It provides common purpose and in fact aligns the business because it is entirely market-focused and client-centred. It provides the reason that people want to do business with you. The brand is central to the “innocent climb”.

Use this time to focus on what’s really important.
Build a team and brand that lasts.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa
March 2009

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency