“Be innovative – think-out-of-the-box – encourage lateral thinking”


Empires last only for so long!


Only one company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which was listed in the beginning of the 20th century is also listed today.




Does your company encourage cross-functional networks? This is a way of enhancing lateral thinking, which is vital for innovation and problem-solving!


Reflections on organizational behaviour and its influence on “High-Level” selling


How can you use company resources & “library of practice” in order to help clients in areas of growth, profitability & capital utilization?


Do you have a coordinated Multi- and C-level selling - approach across your organisation?




Values are to a very large extend dependent on the reputation of a company as interpreted by the markets and especially in a contract negotiation phase how our potential/existing client(s) perceive our value to be”!) This leads to asking the question: “ How do you maximize your perceived value/reputation”? How do you measure your reputation value? Have you considered a pro-active communication strategy as part of a Business Continuity plan? Do you think creating public awareness about your Business Continuity efforts might be for the long-term benefit of your stake- and shareholders? If you agree - why do you agree? Is this an Investor Relations task?


Is it about having a “clear and transparent identity” in each of the markets in which you operate?


How do you get access to and create trust among C-level executives?


A statement and assumption: “People in successful companies are “pressed for time”/the whole organisation is pressed for time. If you do not respect time as a critical factor you are waisting other peoples time”! Therefore – be well prepared!


It is impossible to calculate lost opportunity but do you know your clients so well, that you can offer to calculate cost of opportunity? 

Do you always know/are you trying to find out – what the next best alternative is for the client?  Can your solution be the next best alternative?  


How can the sales force of your company help companies to increase growth, profitability & capital utilization?


How can your company become a trusted long-term partner?




  1. How often do your marketing- or sales organization act on inadequate or wrong information? Do you act on wrong/inadequate information? Do you know to which extend you act on wrong/inadequate information?


  1. Do you have validation procedures for ascertaining if the information you have available is correct, before you make a presentation on C-level?


  1. What processes does your sales- and marketing people use for fact finding?


  1. Do you know what triggers a C-level decision in a company with respect to soft- or hard values?


What about assuming that the renommé of a company is the most important asset for any C-level executive in any sector / any industry? (there is a global trend, that CEO’s are basing there decisions +50% on soft values)


  1. If you are discounting your services in order to win a contract – have you done your home work properly? Why discount?


  1. If you do not win a contract – do you have a fall back plan? (Commitment from “high above” will be easier, if you produce a fall back plan (this is important from an ROI-standpoint)


  1. Do you work effectively across your organisation – world wide? Do you use your “collective bank of knowledge” in a way, which supports “High-level selling”


  1. Do you know what effect it has on your organisation, if you assume, that some of your managers strategically are more interested in their own “well-being” – than in the well-being of your company? i.e. “process-for-the-sake-of-process-in-order-to-justify-ones-position” versus  optimizing conditions for sales staff in order to increase market share


  1. Do your clients truly come first? How much time does your sales force spend servicing your business partners? Do you consider your business partners your clients? 


  1. Is your company in an identity crisis? Trust is about predictability and to satisfy expectations! Trust is also about, whether your company can handle change? Can your organization handle change?


  1. How do you learn from your mistakes in order not to “let a mistake happen again”? How do you learn across the organisation with respect to sharing success as well as failures.


  1. Your company wants to be innovative. At the same time you see a process-oriented/focused culture. Do you know, to what extend a regulatory/compliance-driven process oriented culture is creating unnecessary bureaucracy? (Resources might be spent better on skills development etc.?)”Bureaucrats tend to employ more bureaucrats”? How do you go about striking a balance? Remember "No sales - no company"!


  1. When has a sale been completed? A sale is a cross-functional team-effort – even many times a cross-divisional team-effort! Does your pricing policy in any way hinder any part of the organisation to deliver any product or service at any time according to the terms of the contract? If so – you have not done your homework!


  1. All employees of your company are among the stakeholders of your company and a key to success is the whole-hearted commitment to an idea/project etc. from the stakeholders. How is “the true commitment” been measured?


  1. Are you able to help bridge the communication gap that traditionally exists between an IT- and a Risk Management department and their respective C-level executives? Why is this nescessary? How does your Multi-level sales strategy work?

  16.  Are you being "micro-managed from afar"?

         Does this in any way result in an inflexible go-to-

         market model in your region?

         Does "micro-management from afar" make you

         less competitive? If - yes - what initiatives have

         you taken to alter status qou? What are your

         concerns? Are they valid?


  17.  How does management at your company strike

         a balance between long-term value creation and

         short term quarterly short quarterly profit? Does

         this in any way reduce the quality of your

         services or delivery of same?    


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 Henrik Ahlm, 16. April 2009

Henrik Ahlm

E-mail: henrik@ahlm.dk