Your Bordeaux Problem

In this Remembrance week I was moved to watch a gripping doc on the most “courageous and imaginative” Allied raid of WWII.

Under enormous pressure from the German fleet, we simply had to resolve “The Bordeaux Problem”.

That was the French city the Nazis chose to dock their many worryingly effective Blockade ships. A pretty-much impregnable port. Shielded 70 miles inside Europe’s largest estuary. The ‘problem’ faced was that all conventional means of attacking it wouldn’t work.

As with many situations of the day, Churchill sought plans embracing new thinking. They tended to display three traits; pinprick, innovation and covert.

Step forward the amazing commander, 28-year old Blondie Hasler. Despite the suicide inevitability of the mission, December 1942 saw the resultant Operation Frankton successfully limpet mine enemy boats.

The Sales parallel is knowing when you’re faced with the intractable and must resort to the unconventional.

Traditional approaches are no good.

How do you proceed to avoid failure?

Can you apply Blondie Hasler’s tripod pillars of the small incursion, the inventive manoeuvre and going under the radar?


Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.