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News from Linda Wolstencroft, Aerospace BizDev
Newsletter #64 – Nov
15th, 2016

Linda Wolstencroft’s monthly Newsletter offers business leaders insights on achieving the next big win.

Welcome to the 1990s, America

Listening to President-elect Trump’s victory speech brought me back in time.

At my first job, we had a Trump-like regime.

At this company we applied business principles to meet business objectives, and the primary business objective was to increase shareholder value. This was entirely consistent with the MBA teachings of the time, and therefore it made sense to me.

This seems consistent with the thinking of President-elect Trump; the business objectives were purely financial - revenue growth and profit growth were front and centre. And even though the company I worked for had a legendary history and was known for its technology superiority, we focused on financial success.

After some time, I learned that decisions were based not only on financial success for the company, but also on financial success for the leaders. We strived to increase shareholder value and later found out the full equation: shareholder value = executive bonus. At the time, decisions were made that made no sense to me. Many of us were confused because there were obvious decisions to make that would result in higher employee or customer satisfaction, and they were not being taken. But even though they were obvious to some of us, what we missed was that what we thought was better for employees or customers, was not necessarily better for the executives. And this is the reason why these decisions were not made. They did not result in any significant revenue or profit gains. Employees and customers were just not that important, but executive bonus was important.

We learned that laws and rules were there to be followed, but if there was a loophole or if one could stretch them to the benefit of the company, then we would take it. It was all about making money and growing. This is like not paying your fair share of taxes just because you can find loopholes. And at this company we did make money and we did grow. We achieved difficult and important feats. What was said “couldn’t be done,” we did. It was an exciting time to be part of something that was growing and succeeding.

We rarely spoke of personal affairs at work, although we spent about 60 hours per week there. We knew each other’s families from Christmas parties and other company celebrations, but that was all. It was taboo to talk of any personal problems at work. After all, personal problems were a sign of weakness. And we were not weak; we were strong. We were stronger than any other company. We ran on building the company and we ran on fear. Fear of not being in the boardroom for the important meetings, fear of screwing up, fear of being cast out – fired for not conforming.

One time we entered into a partnership with another company. It was a win-lose situation, and we were on the “win” side. Needless to say the partnership did not last long. But the financial gains our company made were substantive. We managed to do nothing for something and get away with it.

The learning from this experience was superb. Moving forward in my career I felt that I could apply these business principles to anything I did. But I also learned that I could overlay other principles that were just as important, and even more important for the future of the world. These include environmental sustainability, job creation, honesty, win-win, inclusiveness, tolerance and the fact that we are all people and not defined by our differences. I can now work in a way where wealth is shared and not kept for the few. The question is clear: Will America share its wealth with the world once it becomes great again?

My husband said the morning after the election, “See? Trump is elected and the sun still rises!” Optimism is what we must have moving forward. I may be wrong in what I have seen, and there may be a bright future for the world ahead of us.

So it’s onward to another day and a new chapter. And maybe there are better days ahead - not just for the United States, but also for our world.

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NEW – WHAT’S YOUR WIN RATE?

Best practices tell us that measurements matter. We can’t manage what we can’t measure.

Do you want to measure and improve your win rate?

Contact Linda for help with this.

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PROPOSAL HELP

Do you have a big new opportunity on the horizon? We can help with your strategy, approach, solution, and preparation of the document. We work with your team to do whatever it takes to develop a winning solution.

Most successful proposals contain a mix of having the right customer value proposition and the right solution. From there, a win campaign and proposal can be built. You provide the vision, we provide the rest.

Contact Linda for a consultation.

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROCESS AUDIT

Assess how robust your business development, sales and/or marketing processes are. This audit is performed with the backdrop of 25+ years of determining what does and does not work in the business development process.

You will learn which primary areas require improvement, and by correcting these main deficiencies, your business results will improve substantively.

Apply best practices that are tried and true, and have helped many businesses improve their results.

Contact Linda for a consultation.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY FOR GROWTH

Accelerate business results through developing a corporate strategy for growth. An effective corporate strategy often makes the difference in exceeding business growth objectives. Understand how to position your company amongst market drivers and competitors' strategies. Orchestrate your company activities to drive results. Power your company’s growth while engaging your people to learn, grow and participate in a fulfilling journey.

Contact Linda for more information.

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