Carrie's Homeland Timeline

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I did rather fall for the Emmy-winning American political thriller Homeland. With Season Two kicking off just now, I re-watched the final two. Gripping stuff.

In the penultimate episode, the lady spy colour codes all data to hand. Her boss then arranges it in order. It creates a colourful timeline. Each year is a different colour.


I love this approach.

One telly cop show I have a soft spot for is New Tricks. (Six years ago I learned about ‘scamper‘ through them). It’s terrific how they stick pics and write all over their wheelie office whiteboards. Every clue, each lead, duly on show with potential links drawn.

This reminds me of the above cork-wall-pinned ‘timeline’.

In all my years in and out of multiple solution selling offices, I have never, ever seen anything like this. And I’m starting to feel we’ve all missed a serious trick.

Yes, I realise that these detectives and spies are only chasing a solitary ‘deal’ at a time, but even so, how many do we properly have on our plate at any given snapshot?

I’ve seen literally hundreds of cubicles. Kiddie’s artwork, phone list, order sign-off procedures, latest corporate ‘vision’ poster, certificate from some old and largely irrelevant course. That pretty much is all that’s tacked to the walls.

I grant you there’s not much room. Just a few square foot. Regardless, which is the one deal you really want. Really. Do you have a decent handle on why you’ll win it?

Could you even list all the good currently in your favour? Or not-so-good? Print stuff out. Use lots of colour highlight pens. Photos. Put everything above or below a middle line. What’s gone is left, what’s to come, right. What stands out? What must you defend, what must you change?

The rest of the office will be inspired, and you’ll be more likely to ‘win’. Just like this spy boss in the morning light:


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