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Improve Performance, Provoke Thought, Think Critically.

You are constantly striving to improve.  You are looking for practical tips you can apply to your daily work that will impact your performance.  You are looking for advice from professionals who do the work. You want to engage with professionals who have been in your shoes.

Be the Founder that can clearly articulate the problem your company solves.

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The Catalyst Sale Podcast is published weekly.  We take listener questions at @catalystsale on twitter or hello@catalystsale.com via email.

Topics discussed - B2B Sales, Sales Training, Product Market Fit, Growth, Hiring, Recruitment, Sales Process, Business Acumen, Startups, Leadership.

Jan 9, 2018

Guest - Paul Michelman - Editor in Chief, MIT Sloan Management Review

This week on the podcast Paul Michelman - Editor in Chief, MIT Sloan Management Review joins us for a great discussion that covers a number of topics, including the impact of technology on business and vice versa, and why the middle may not be the best place to be.

Paul is the former Editor in Chief of Safari Books Online, he has worked with strategy+business, the Harvard Business Review, and other prestigious organizations.  Paul was also the original executive producer and host of HBR Ideacast, launched in 2006.

Questions addressed

  • What do you think about the future of podcasting?
  • How is technology influencing business, how is business influencing technology?
  • How do you stay ahead of the technology changes, while keeping the business going?
  • Who is doing this well?
  • What can we do at an Individual Contributor level to impact organizational success?
  • Can you apply math to the risk of change?
  • What is real & what is BS when it comes to Artifical Intelligence (AI)?
  • Should we focus now on specialization or should we diversify?

Key Takeaways

  • Audio/Podcasting
    • Quality will continue to improve, content will continue to improve.  
    • The popularity of audio will continue to grow - it is the most flexible of media - you can take it with you wherever you go.
    • The rise of audio as an interface - central way that we interact with devices - continues to occur.
  • Technology
    • For most of the digital age - technology has been a support platform/tool.
    • Tech has moved from a supporting tool to being central to the way organizations compete.
    • From HR to anywhere in the supply chain, to Sales, you cannot name a group that is not being influenced or impacted by technology.
    • Technology as a Skill: Senior leaders need to understand how the technology impacts the business.
  • Change & The Impact of Technology on the Speed of Change
    • Change is going to happen, and it is going to happen more frequently.
    • There is a level of acceptance - change is here to stay.
    • Things you may have revisited annually, you now have to revisit quarterly.
    • The higher level the risk, the harder the change may be, including the ability to test.  It is really hard to generalize.
    • Pierre Nanterme - CEO, Accenture
      • You need to have a confidence that you are heading in the right direction.
      • Keep tacking.
      • Accept that you will not have all of the information.
  • Companies that Will Handle these Changes Well
    • Digitally native organizations (Amazon, Google, Apple) - they are inventing as they go.
    • Organizations that are modest - those that do not fall in love with their own successes
    • “Information has been democratized” - as an example, Zappos have given their people the latitude to make decisions that directly impact the business.
    • It is not just enabling the workforce, it also means you have a workforce that wants to embrace this enablement.
  • Artifical Intelligence / AI as a disruptor
    • Maybe the question about AI starts first with algorithms.  
    • The estimations of AIs impact are not overstated.
    • We may be overestimating the impact in the short term, but underestimated in the long term.
    • There is a healthy shift in discussions, the perspective is shifting to the belief that AI is going to enable us to do better things - not replace us.
  • The Middle
    • Don’t Get Caught in the Middle - Organizations continue to get flatter.  
    • Executives in the middle of organizations are increasingly threatened.
    • Employees ability to make decisions continues to improve.The intermediary role continues to be reduced. There are not many matchmakers anymore.
    • The business intermediary is being replaced by technology.
  • What to do about it.
    • Develop your skills in tandem, don’t lose sight of your personal ability to create value.
    • It will help you manage your career within and outside of an organization.
    • Don’t be just a left brain person, don’t be just a right brain person - keep developing your skills.

Show Links

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Product Market Fit

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Catalyst Sale

In every business, in every opportunity, there is someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close the deal.  There is a Catalyst.  We integrate process (Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false starts that are common in emerging markets and high-growth environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process that enables results versus a process that tells people what to do.  

Sales is a Thinking Process.