These last few months have been a really important period for Carbon Global because it’s been a rollercoaster. Through it all, there’s been this idea of self-improvement. It all boils down to the fact that we need to understand what our weaknesses are, not only ours, but our clients’ weaknesses too.
Since the pandemic began, being ‘outsourced’ has moved away from being a dirty word. It’s now about understanding how we can help each other by working together. That has meant bringing your outsourced lead generation and business development teams to strategy meetings is now a weekly practice. We’ve had a think about our client’s successes and we worked out that they were mainly because we had been sewing up the rips. It seems to us that it’s time to focus on our weaknesses as that feels like the best way to strengthen our process. If a boxer is at the gym, they don’t focus on the strongest aspects of their game, they prepare for a fight by focusing on their weaknesses. By strengthening these aspects of their technique they become stronger and less likely to face defeat. So why don’t we do this in business? We always put our best foot (services) forward but we don’t want anyone to focus on our weaknesses but if we did in the end we would, in fact, build a stronger machine that is capable of beating any competitor.
Without a doubt, B2B collaborations and partnerships should focus on this other side of the game. A session of constructive criticism within a group usually brings up ideas and concepts that you may never have found alone. It’s about being vulnerable in front of your clients and them doing the same in return, which quickly creates mutual trust. That was something crucial in our drama school training, the ensemble is always going to be more powerful than the individual because you hold each other up. Ultimately, you focus in on the same goal and a collective drive to achieve the results as a team, rather than as individuals. When that happens then the sales cycle becomes quicker and more efficient.
The collective weakness
We talk about collaboration a lot, so we’ve put that into practice. We’ve implemented a 6-monthly ‘weaknesses workshop’ with our clients. In this meeting, we analyse where support is needed from the other party to make sure that our collective offering is the best it can be. This works by working closely together to understand where opportunities usually fall through the cracks. That means both the client and ourselves pulling each other up and strategising to collectively help wherever we think that weakness is. We create a culture that moves away from blaming each other for the other’s weaknesses and mistakes but seeing it as a collective weakness. If you can use one of your strengths to fill the void, you create a rounded impenetrable machine that runs effectively. It’s a stand-up culture meaning that anyone can stand up and be heard. They may have a skill-set that you don’t. This in reality is quite hard to do with clients because they want to feel like they’re in control and they’re paying you to do a job. However, the good ones actually release some of that control over to us and let us push back. It’s almost like a personal trainer, even though it’s their body, we have the expertise to know how to hone and sculpt it.
Looking to the future
We have instated weekly 15-minute meetings with all of our companies every Friday morning to great success. It’s not a retrospective look at the week but more about what we’ve learned and how we move forwards. Having these micro meetings is an incredible way of focusing on the communication between both parties to implement our collective strategy. It’s up to them to win the work for us. After all, they are only going to retain our services if they win work. As a collective it’s important that we support each other, because ultimately, we have all got the same common goal; to increase revenue, increase output, hit KPIs, and try and win more business.