Lindsay’s In Business PART 61: All things to all people – stupid me 

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I’m back in London and sitting in a café bar with my Business Development Director. We’re soon to meet a well-connected, very insightful contact he’s set up for me. We talk for the first time about the misalignment bonanza between us over the past months.

I realise now that he had held back from opening up his network to Mirror Mirror because the proposition just isn’t right.  It’s not something he feels he can sell. I don’t know how far that was conscious or unconscious, but while I’d been super task and delivery focused with the plan to revamp and sell sell sell, he’d been more people and impact focused. I’d lost trust with him way too quickly and he’d lost the communication with me way too quickly.

Like everything with Mirror Mirror so far, things have evolved and emerged rather than been pre-determined and controlled. I take back my previous misgivings about him and recognise the value and talent he is bringing to the business.  He’ll be moving into a new job soon, so his attention will soon drop, but have a feeling we’ll stay connected on Mirror Mirror.

And he’s got a point about the proposition not being right.  I have so far seen the beauty of Mirror Mirror as being that it covers so many bases.  Mirror Mirror is the:

  1. team away day with data and meaning
  2. 72-hour team effectiveness diagnostic
  3. clarity and alignment tool for team performance
  4. people assessment for mergers / acquisitions / audits
  5. team-based employee survey with immediate follow up
  6. introduction to the agile mindset
  7. 360 engagement tool for leaders
  8. action learning session for students on comms / leadership / teamwork
  9. ultimate onboarding tool for senior leaders
  10. intervention that jumpstarts teams that are stuck.

And having so many angles isn’t the USP, it’s a trap. People want a solution to their problems – they don’t need to be marvelled by multiple solutions to a generic problem.

We have been trying to be all things to all people – with not enough evidence of value to substantiate any of them. Again, I am so annoyed with myself!  How can the business still be at this point after 2 whole years? This is marketing 101!  I’ve been so blinkered.


And then we got talking about Mirror Mirror on offer via consultancies – and I went to see 3 or 4 promising ones on this trip alone.

Surely, I was thinking, if we go in via consultancies, they can position Mirror Mirror as they see fit to the client.  They already have someone with a people problem – they can explain it how they see fit and deliver; we can focus on making sure the Mirror Mirror product is constantly being optimised.

The response then from Business Development Director and the contact who had now joined us, was that those consultancies will learn the ropes, see the question sets and then just copy it and cut us out of the picture.

And now I feel stupid and ignorant again.

And angry. How DARE they?!  It’s one thing to find something online and use it without permission, it’s quite another to pretend to have integrity to someone who is putting their heart and soul into pioneering a new idea, and then go steal the intellectual property (IP) in a manipulative, secretive way because they know it’s too difficult for me to challenge them.  HOW DARE THEY!

I can already think of 2 consultancies who got very close to Mirror Mirror, but then having signed NDA’s and after giving me all their assurances, they took a look at the questions and strangely I haven’t seen them since.  Actually, I don’t think they’ve copied anything yet but I do worry.

I need to get more specific, more savvy, and much tighter on the 2019 plan:

  • how to regard the IP that is not easy to protect
  • how to partner with people who are difficult to trust
  • how to measure the client situation before and after so that we can prove outcomes
  • how to target and focus the offer in a way that resonates in the market.

Mirror Mirror is a gem and I need find a way to be out there first and with the best interpretation of this concept.

If MBTI in the 1990’s was about psychometrics for collaboration in a diverse world, Mirror Mirror is about team alignment for performance in today’s complex world.

Mirror Mirror – We go deeper to get the issues and opportunities on the table – safely, objectively and constructively.

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