Fly Crash Adapt

Here’s a piece of Autumnal prose in the FT, triggered in part by the calamitous England public sector track and trace system, from ‘everyday economist’, Tim Harford;

“…the possibility of rapid learning. When the aeronautical engineer Paul MacCready was working on human-powered aircraft in the 1970s, his plane — the Gossamer Condor — was designed to be easily modified and easily repaired after the inevitable crashes. (At one stage, the tail flap was adjusted by taping a Manila folder to it.) Where others had spent years failing to win the prestigious Kremer prize for human-powered flight, MacCready’s team succeeded in months. One secret to their success was that the feedback loop of fly —> crash —> adapt was quick and cheap.”

Arh, yes. That pedal-powered ‘albatross’ looking like it was made of balsa wood traveling inches above the English Channel was a marvellous sight.

The (ahem) cycle successfully pursued here is highly instructive.

I see many a salesteam terrified of new ideas. Which given they are populated by normally the most optimistic of souls is astonishing.

The issue is, that too many expect something ‘new’ delivered in unbreakable, unbeatable form.

There is little understanding of the power of iteration, refinement or the fabled continuous improvement.

Sustainable selling, of quota-busting and customer delight height, is a process.

Yet too many salesforces seem to judge in absolute, static terms of ‘now’.

Put another way, they let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

How many sellers try out a tweak live?

Whether it be on the product, with their service, around their terms, about packaging, or even how they sell it?

Too few, I’d say.

Mainly only those consistently hitting their number I’d say too.

Here’s a tip to overcome anxiety.

Openly discuss your tweak with prospects.

You might well be surprised.

Approach any situation with the fly-crash-adapt mindset and greater success will follow.

If something does not turn out to ‘fly’, you can take steps beforehand to ensure your crash is not catastrophic. Then adapt quickly and go again.

Too many are put off by the crash. Yet we only learned to ride a bike after grazed elbows and knees. It is the subsequent and swift adaptation that in short order makes you speed along all on your own.

Where’s your next ‘new’ sales craft coming from?

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