The Casual Relationship of Lean Sales


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In a recent podcast, Scenario Thinking the Next Big Thing, with George Wright, co-author of Scenario Thinking: Practical Approaches to the Future, I asked, “When we are looking at different alternatives to the future, we paint a picture with scenarios? 


Yes, the scenarios are descriptions of the future often constructed by management teams. They usually rough out about four scenarios of the future. They are all very qualitative. Their absolutely, pictures of the way the future might be. But, they are casually linked components in the scenarios. For instance, Martians land from outer space with ray guns and start shooting us, the scenario tends to be much more logical steps from now into the future may be 10,15, 20, 30 years. Hence, the scenarios are portal pen pictures of the future that are plausible to the people who constructed them. People say, “I can see this series of events starting to happen.” You can go out in that way like dominos swarming in one direction or you can go out in a different way. If they are all plausible futures, than they are futures we need to be concerned with, without occurring major investments. Scenario thinking is an approach that first started out with capture intensive industries like the airlines, the oil industry where major investment has to be made now. It has to work well against a range of futures. That’s the scenario approach, getting these robust decisions that work well no matter what.

About George Wright: George is currently Professor of Management at Durham Business School, University of Durham, UK. He has consulted and provided management development programs on scenario thinking and decision making with organizations such as Bayer, EADS, Petronas, Scottish Power, Thales, United Utilities, and national and local government in the UK.

One of the key items, I found in George discussion is the issue of causality. In scenario planning, we seek for, not one, but several casual causes. When you think of a sales process, it reminds me of a mini-scenario planning effort. Seldom are decisions within an organization made by one or two people. More often, they are being done by committee. The committee often evolves depending on the circumstances. In this scenario, sorry for the pun, how do sales and marketers understand the process? How do they determine, who has the most influence on the committee and who influences that person?

This blog post, Lean Sales and Marketing: Outcome Based Mapping, contains my thoughts and several additional links

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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