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Gaining Agility… While Building Deep Relationships

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Distinguished anthropologist Sally Falk Moore of Harvard was asked, at least once, “What do anthropologists do?”  Her reply was, “It’s very simple.  You walk into a room and ask, “Who are these people and what do they want?”  It’s about understanding social systems… why they exist and how they work.”

Not a heckuva lot different than a typical supplier-customer relationship, especially when it’s business-to-business!  Both parties are trying to figure out what the other party’s social system is and how it works… “Who are these people and what do they want?”

But, it can be a struggle.  There are gate keepers, there are communication filters, there’s quite a bit of telling people what’s expedient or what one thinks they want to hear.  It forces the need for agility… in being keenly perceptive, in adapting quickly to changing circumstances, in envisioning outcomes before they’re fully visible.

This link is how I would try to describe such agility, in all of its indescribable complexity… especially from a supplier point of view…

Learning Agility

Relative to customers (and even suppliers), how much time is your team actually spending, and not just your sales team, in trying to find out, “Who are these people, and what do they want?”