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James Drogan

Your post reminded me of the following line from an e-mail I sent this morning to some members of our senior leadership team.

"We ought to think about the range of potential outcomes that could emerge from attending this conference, and whether we are prepared to pursue these outcomes."

I don't find the results of the research very surprising. It seems rather logical, but maybe I'm not seeing the trees for the forest.

My perspective is likely shaped by my experiences, almost all of which have been in rapidly changing fields. I suggest that one's experiences have a great deal to do with picking the moment when the shift is made from why to how.

Here's another thought. Strategic thinkers who see the context in a holistic fashion may not make good politicians, especially in a political society characterized by short cycles. One could then extend this to management. My sense is that operational management is much concerned about the how and, if they are subsequently promoted to strategic management, they may not be able to adapt to the requirement for the need to look to the why. Could it be that this inability to adapt produces the A-types?


This is a helpful insight for communication management in projects. It also helps to keep things at a high level farther out because there are always changes, as there should be given that we should adjust actions as our available information improves and our environment changes. I will have to keep this in mind when creating a communication plan over the course of my next project.


I'm testing a similar hypothesis for marketing communications in sales cycles. What is hard to tease apart is whether a first contact from a prospect is task oriented or vision oriented.

The politics example is interesting because everyone shares the same timeline. With sales cycles, everyone is on their own timeline. As a vendor, this ends up being another dimension for managing communications.

For the task oriented prospect a message like "learn the basics before dinner" makes sense. For the visionary the message would need to be something like "envision success."

It will be interesting to test specific/abstract messages and to see the conversion rates on the offers and in the ultimate sales cycle.

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