I hate to rant (again), but last week I met with a vendor who didn’t know anything about me other than my name and title, and who I work for. I put aside an hour or so to see him.
This, as far as I am concerned, is about as stupid as you get. Since I have gone to such lengths to put my thoughts on line and expose what I care about to everyone, surely you would want to have that advantage when you come to meet me? Is it so difficult to type “James Gardner DWP” into Google before you show up?
So I had the standard discussion about our strategy and goals, which is so generic as to be almost completely useless to anyone, and sent him on his way. He will not be meeting me again.
Of course, this goes to something I’ve been saying for a while, and that is that there’s this huge – and widening – gulf between those who are connected and those who aren’t. There is a visible performance gap between the two groups.
Apparently, though, there are all these people who are “too busy” to read blogs, keep up with Twitter, and participate online. I find, increasingly, they are missing the action.
Actually, as a side note, there are some people in my own teams who don’t bother to read this blog. I don’t even feel remotely worried that I’ll offend them by disclosing that, by the way, since they aren’t paying attention.
Anyway, so the sales guy didn’t get anything he wanted from me, which is a further opportunity to engage. Considering he’s a system integrator and wanting to sell services, what would I have expected him to know if he really wanted to talk?
1. He should have known that I think architecture should be firmly grounded in the business we’re trying to make go, and therefore, that' I’d care more about real things happening than models and theories.
2. He should have known that I care deeply about security, but I like a nice risk based assessment of things that lets us move forward rather than a process of shutting things down randomly the moment any potential threat comes up.
3. He should have known that I like strategies to have flexibility, and I hate ivory tower-ism. Strategists that won’t flex are as bad as security people who shut things for down for kicks or architects who are custodians of “the one true way”.
4. He should have known that I think you can build big and important results from innovation groups when you focus on many little things. And that doing a few very big things is the way to failure, since most innovations fail no matter what their size.
Anyway, a little research was apparently a bit too hard. Perhaps he “doesn’t have time” to read blogs and keep up with Twitter and participate in the conversation himself.
But never mind. That’s a sales guy that’s going to get fired, because there are any number of people who do their research before showing up.
As you’d expect, the conversation moves a lot faster once you get beyond “tell me about your role, your issues, and your goals”.