How Does History Guru's Only Law Apply to Your Big Deal?

Niall Ferguson, of whom I last posted back in 2011, has another cracking sounding ‘album’ out.

A history of the power of networks and lessons for today’s freewheelin’ silicon valley. He hopes that will halt their path to becoming Bond Villains. He does not believe their view that history “began with the Google IPO” making everything before irrelevant. He urges them to drop unimpeded self-regulation whilst understanding “network science”.

In his pr for The Square And The Tower, here is one of the must-hear Professor’s lines when interviewed;

The law of unintended consequences is pretty much the only law of history

I instantly thought where he says ‘history’ we could just as easily swap in ‘sales’.

I’ve spent perhaps more hours in meetings discussing possible scenarios on deals than any other single entity. The forensic assessment of where we’re at, the personalities and issues at play and how to shape them in our direction.

I wondered if in reality, this question of ‘unintended consequences’ impact ought be an essential lens which any such bid review should include?

In many ways, it is already suggested as a ‘strategic selling’ staple. In its world featuring the like of red flags, valid business reasons and unique strengths.

Yet as Prof Ferguson states, how could the inventor of the printing press have foreseen the rise of populist all-conquering tabloid newspapers? Examining unintended consequences in this context could suffer the feel of crystal ball gazing.

Hopefully on your sale things might be a little simpler. You have the ‘intended’. Leaving anything else as ‘unintended’. Something to work with when positioning your next campaign tactic.

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