The Clothes in the Wardrobe

The Clothes in the Wardrobe

Here is part of a presentation I gave to the senior management in one division of an international company. The title comes from a novel which has nothing to do with business: good to add an unexpected twist. Sometimes it takes an outsider to ask the awkward questions, but in a positive way. The organiser’s brief to me was to generate momentum for swift and urgent change. My thinking? Understanding the present situation is the first step.    

What is the offer? Do you know what products and services the company has worldwide? Put it another way: what clothes are in your wardrobe? Do you know what is in there? When did you last go through the cupboard and check? What is your equivalent of that high- quality, expensive item you never wear because it really doesn’t suit you? Is it that product or service everyone claims to admire but never buys? That tired item in the cupboard you keep for sentimental reasons – is it the service which was fine five years ago, but no longer quite fits? If you don’t know the answers, time for some serious stock-taking and a thorough clear-out.   

I found an online personal image consultancy with the same initials as the international company: that worked well. Offering read-across from other sectors adds another dimension, and chimes in with a consistent theme: who else can help me? What can we take from the experience of others? When the busyness of the day job gets in the way of that lateral thinking, time to leave the building for some re-calibration – which is where I come in.                

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