Purpose and Priority – Getting Clear to Get Productive

My tagline for a long time has been “sleep is for the weak,” but the truth is, I love to sleep. I have to make myself get up and get rolling every morning, and I have to fight the urge every night to call it a day and turn in early. There’s nothing I love […]

Don’t Paint in Seagulls

This is another commonly used analogy from Sandler selling, equally applicable to any other conversation you might have. Again, I’m doing this from memory, so maybe they teach it better than I do. The Story A little girl comes rushing in to the kitchen to show her father a painting she’s just done. It’s a […]

Leave Out The Ball Bearings

This is a common story they tell at Sandler sales training, but I’m repeating it here from memory – I might have some of the details wrong. The Story A nice young couple walk into a furniture store. They’re looking for a desk. They’re approached by a salesman on the floor. He’s helpful, he’s informed, […]

The Open/Closed Principle – Good for Code, Better for Questions

A protocol for asking and answering questions, gathering information, and getting to the best decisions faster. The SOLID principles of object oriented design, includes a principle that’s often overlooked in application and library design, which is the “Open/Closed Principle“. The basic premise is that you should design systems and organize classes in such a way […]

Making Decisions Inside the Golden Triangle

Increasing Autonomy at the Edge Through Constraint-based solutions “Solving For The Golden Triangle” is a term I coined several years ago to serve as a counter to the classic “Iron Triangle” of Project Management (scope, cost, schedule). The Golden Triangle serves as a simple guideline for leaders in the organization to help make decisions and […]

Working at the Speed of Zeno’s Paradox

Executing well, now, is better than executing perfectly, later. If you’re old enough to have stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live in the ‘80’s and early 90’s, you remember Phil Hartman. He had a classic skit called “The Anal Retentive Chef” that spawned a whole series — “Anal Retentive Carpenter,” “Anal Retentive Fishing,” and […]

The Five-Phase Consulting Apology

How my client taught me to be a better consultant by showing me how to own my mistakes. I have a client who runs a marketing and customer engagement strategy consulting company that focuses on delivering brand loyalty programs for retail shopping chains. One of the largest of such programs is for an international brick-and-mortar […]

Pick Up The Phone!

Why, When, and How to Escalate Communication Channels One of Headspring’s distinguishing characteristics as a provider of professional services to enterprise organizations is that we don’t always have a heavy on-site presence. Where most of our competitors establish relationships and maintain “stickiness” with their clients by being omni-present inside their clients’ organizations, we deliver solutions […]

Managing the Emotion Pendulum

How to help clients feel good about a project because it’s their idea to feel good about it. This is a mental model I’ve found useful when interacting with clients, especially in situations where things aren’t going as well as we’d like (or as they’d like), or when we need to deliver bad news. Those […]

Up-Front Contracts — My First Consulting Tool

Adapted from material I’ve used for coaching our staff at Headspring, where I equip our teams to build great software that transforms organizations. I’ve noticed recently, as I’ve sat with some of our team during 1:1’s and with client calls — especially introductory sales calls and project review and requirements gathering meetings, that we hadn’t been reinforcing […]