Poacher turned gamekeeper

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

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Tony Goodson’s blog has gained added interest since he abandoned self-employment in favour of the corporate world. Now he is seeing business through new spectacles. He opened his blogging of transition thus:

And as a newly appointed “Training and Development Manager” of the division of a large corporate I now have at least a bit of a chance of having a go at it.

I’ve read a lot about changing companies for the better over the last few years, I have all the books, read all the blogs, discussed all the discussions online.

So armed with my Tom Peters’ books, my Fish, my Improv, my cool ideas, I entered the corporate world last week. Boy am I going to change things!

But after a week and a half, I am left scratching my head. What to do next?

Firstly, if a company and a division has a good market share, why should it do something radical? If you’re in the top 5 suppliers, you may want to gain a few percentage points and certainly not lose a few points. If you’re an executive earning a good salary, why do something radical? You already have market share. Sure some of the customers may hate you, but then they hate everyone else in the market!!

Over time, Tony starts to learn new ways. So for instance, today he writes

What I’ve learnt as a client in my short time, is CUT STRAIGHT TO IT! If I have to see another high level overview telling me what the problem is in language which isn’t that of the organisation, then I’m going to scream. What I want is to be asked and listened to, and cut straight to the solution.

When I go to buy a car or a house, I’m interested in the features and the solution, not some bloody 45 minute presentation on what the problem is.

And then there’s this:

I watched a decision being made today, and it was a combination of circumstances over a few weeks and a few people of influence somehow meandering to a decision because of time pressure. I wouldn’t say it was down to anything the supplier or suppliers could have altered.

In talking to a few suppliers recently, they fail to realise that key influencers play a huge role in a decision, and going to the “Decision Maker” will piss them all off, and lead to the decision being sabotaged.

And his new view that office work is good for your health

Working at home, I was eating too much and not exercising. And when I was training, I was eating huge number of biscuits with my tea, and driving everywhere!

Now I’m eating less, and taking public transport, so I’m walking quite a bit more.

I’ve also enjoyed client-side perspectives from my namesake in the US, such as this:

I must receive at least 10 pitch letters/packages a week from advertising agencies extolling why they are the best agency in the land and that we should work with them to develop marketing campaigns that get results.

One such pitch letter intrigued me — not because it was remarkable, but because it was so unremarkable.

This particular pitch letter was 100% cookie-cutter. Nothing in the letter was customized to appeal to me. No mention of key issues that my company faces. No mention of the challenges facing us in the age of parity and commoditization. (Note to ad agencies

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