What has an eel and your prospect got in common?
Steady now. I can hear your titters…
I listened at the weekend to an aeronautical engineer, Dr Kevin Gouder, discuss how aerodynamic designers study nature for tips.
Apparently a great many such innovations have come from the animal kingdom.
Those curved wingtips – or sharklets, depending on your favoured multinational plane builder – that this past decade have appeared everywhere are one recent example.
Indeed by lessening the drag through the air from reducing the size of vortex at the end of the wing, they cut fuel consumption by at least 5%.
Then he mentioned the uncanny resemblance of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet to a blue whale.
Before noting that the Airbus A380 super-jumbo has wings designed in the image of those of an albatross.
He divulged current research looks to fish. Specifically the eel. He’s tested something akin to their ripple ribbon. Results are impressive.
In the lab, said ripple can reduce friction by 7%.
Another money saving tweak beckons, you feel. How long before we see these on the top and bottoms of our planes?
He believes there’s plenty of scope for several such incremental improvements. And also cited F1 racing car engineers who make slight changes every single week to show how we’re still learning in this field.
Oh for the Selling that truly embraces this logic…
I like the concept of reducing drag.
Such ‘drag’ can seriously hamper your sales ambitions. What causes friction? What slows things down? Can you identify any patterns, anything that recurs?
The most obvious ‘frictions’ occur at the beginning and end of a campaign.
Trying to gain a foothold, an initial acceptance of the state you wish to improve, can get all sorts of backs up with those who rail against any ‘change’.
Then there’s the classic ‘death valley’. The interminable silence between final presentation and decision.
How can you smooth these?
The eel looks to streamline focusing up high and below.
Winglets/sharklets look to the sides, and edge extremes at that.
Perhaps one steer from which to launch your own ideas if you’ve not got any proven successful plans on which to build.