Learned something illuminating the other day, doing some work for one of my customers that sell to the oil industry. I enjoyed a long telephone conversation with a chap called Ceri, a PhD in geology no less.
What I learned, is that in the multi-million dollar science that is guestimating oil field reserves, when assessing how much black gold exists, there are two philosophies; siesmic and geologic. And like most times in life when two equally valid, yet opposing options exist, the disciples of each stick to their way as the ‘best’. Ceri considered the Geological method inferior as (compared to Seismic) it is:
- Data driven, potentially not always telling you what is going on
- Can under-estimate how much good quality rock you’ve got
- So potentially a pessimistic outcome
- Over-simplistic data can miss the geological tip-offs
And then a fascinating analogy struck me. I (and the vast majority of my customers/prospects) sell solutions. Typically this means an RoI must be established and accepted. Often, a huge amount of time is devoted to generating spreadsheets showing a cell, filled with a glorious coloured, emboldened figure ‘proving’ our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow exists. I wonder if this isn’t the Geological perspective? How often do you apply even weighting to the ‘proof’ as well as other facts? Such further data can be how precarious is our political stance, who likes us, does our face fit, can we create action? These ‘siesmic’ attributes can serve us at least as well…..