Huskies & Corrosive Buyers

On 18 June 07, reports emerged that Britain’s highest paid civil servant quit his £290k a year post trying to implement the world’s largest non-military IT project.  The incredible price tag of £12bn is meant to bring modernisation to the UK’s useless “free” health service.  I read this on the same day that (the excellent clinician) Dr Guilhoff told me waiting times for new outpatients at the Chelsea & Westminster hospital was a mind-boggling 7 (yes, seven) months.  Here’s a cracking quote from London’s Times about Richard Granger’s views:

“Confronted with what he saw as the intransigence of the medical profession and the determination of IT suppliers to make high profits at the taxpayers’ expense whatever their performance, Granger tried to introduce a tough competitive climate for the contractors.

His metaphor for the project was a sledge being pulled by huskies. Those who fell by the wayside would be “chopped up and fed to the other dogs” to ensure that those who survived worked harder.”

I’ve a lot of sympathy for this view.  Upon reading this I was instantly struck by the veracity of this analogy and how rarely such outright hostility in the supplier-customer relationship can have been so public.  From a sales person’s perspective, it’s a belter of an example to use with buyers that are giving you grief and you cannot accept their reasoning, to try and move them towards a more productive win-win mentality as however merited the above thinking, it will (lamentably and surely) not alone precede success.

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