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…
HEADLINE– We have confirmation that the multi-team contract to support a merger with our oil and gas client – IS DEFINITELY GOING AHEAD!! Just 4 days after hearing that, I’m already in a new normal 🙂 Of course I’m very happy – and now I’m looking ahead again.
Remember me writing about my target market areas and investigating which would be the best to focus on? I had 6 areas that I was looking at based on the thinking that Mirror Mirror is best for
- a) teams in complex situations, where misalignment is rife, and / or
- b) in companies where the value of employee alignment is very high.
I’ve now got enough insight on those market areas to prioritise. The subtleties here are crucial and I want to share those with you in the context of my updated Marketing and PR strategy. I’ll first outline the decisions I’ve made on each market area:
Potential market areas
- Companies looking to move into agile ways of working –about a year ago, a hypothesis emerged – ‘Agile consultants and coaches who want to offer their clients a way of getting into agile ways of working will use Mirror Mirror as a tool’.However, I’ve since presented at Agile India in Bangalore, and to a network of 24 ING agile coaches and consultants in Amsterdam. What I’ve found is that there’s a lot of interest and enthusiasm but no bites: nobody is asking about how they can use Mirror Mirror. At first, I thought this was because I don’t have a training programme ready, but let’s face it, if someone wanted to move forward, they would have asked for that. Having discussed this through with someone who knows this market, I conclude that Mirror Mirror does indeed have a good link to the agile philosophy, but it’s perhaps seen as more of an HR / OD intervention that wasn’t designed to deliver ‘agile’, per se. And this is true. Also, it’s not free and a one-day training is required to run it. I can still deliver Mirror Mirror within the scope of an ‘agile’ objective, but it’s not my bullseye.
- Companies looking to integrate teams in post-merger and acquisition environments – this is what our oil and gas client have just agreed to run.Mirror Mirror for M&A situations would be a real niche and PERFECT for teams in complex situations AND where the value of alignment is very high. I’m picking up that people involved in these transactions are increasingly seeing that the M&A transaction goes beyond the contract signature. The problem has been gaining access to this area. But a quick search on M&A Integration Managers, or other relevant job titles shows hundreds of 1st/ 2ndlevel people to connect with….
- Companies who want to improve internal communication and strategy implementation – right from the start, this was the vision for the business.But replacing existing communication processes and surveys with Mirror Mirror right across an organization is far, far away. This is where Mirror Mirror could get to in the future but I’m David and that’s Goliath right now. Not a low hanging fruit.
- Teams in need of intense clarity and cohesion, such as Emergency Response teams / Safety teams –yes absolutely this is a good area in principle but it’s bitty.I can’t afford to put months of effort into getting work with single teams. I’ve had two pitch meetings with Safety Leaders in global organizations over the past month and one wasn’t ready – they still need to build the safety appetite, and one already has all the interventions they need. This area feels good to keep an eye out for and to react to, but not to put at up there as THE priority market.
- Companies who want to ensure high quality standards – apparently ISO 9001 requires good engagement and understanding between leaders and staff.Again, a good area in principle, but same as above – good to react to, not to prioritise.
- Consultancies / freelancers would like to offer something new and different to their clients.I’m ready here. I have a good network of delivery agents in multiple countries, speaking multiple languages ready to run their first Mirror Mirror, if I can’t make it.
Marketing and PR Strategy (outline)
Objective: to build credibility and contacts that lead to new business opportunities
Activities: focus on opportunities to deliver to teams and organizations in post-M&A environments:
- PROACTIVE: 90% Network and build relationships… because when your business is small, finding and talking to relevant people has the highest success rate over PR
- Getting referrals to meet relevant people
- PROACTIVE: 10% Claim authority and build presence via PR… it’s good to keep the digital presence and drumbeat going, but not expect sales here.
- Creating content
- Speaking / presenting / writing articles
- Promoting news and content on social channels
- Other PR with collaborators
- REACTIVE: follow possibilities that open up in other markets of interest
- See market areas 2 – 5
- Decline possibilities outside of that. Before now, I was opening doors, any doors to see where Mirror Mirror fits. Someone sent me a link to present at a cyber-security conference in The Hague on ‘Complexity’. I’ve chosen not going to do that. I’m going to focus proactively on the M&A markets.
Resources: I can use researcher June -September to research opportunities. – I’ve still got no cash, but time is money. If I can use someone a few hours a week to get me leads into the M&A space, I should take it.
Mirror Mirror– a tried and tested process focused on identifying and addressing alignment gaps in teams and organizations to improve engagement and performance.
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