When times are tough, you’ve had to lose good people and you can’t afford to hire more, the key to growth is innovation and the best way of achieving this is pairing a left-brain thinker with a right-brain thinker.

Innovation is a messy process – hard to measure and hard to manage. Most people only recognise it when it generates a surge in growth. When revenues and earnings decline most executives conclude that their innovation efforts are just not worth it. Better to focus on what we know, they say, rather than the untested. Better to play safe and be risk averse.

Recently we worked with a technology company on one of their largest customer accounts. We analysed what was happening with the account in terms of value, processes and people and in the course of our work came across two sales professionals – we’ll call them Jim and Tom – who were totally dissimilar in pretty much every aspect of their approach to work. Jim was a total ‘left-brain’ thinker (logical, analytical, task-driven) and Tom a ‘right-brain’ (creative, relationship-orientated, door-opener) but they had figured out that together they could create a fantastic approach to innovative, consultative sales within their customer account. Individually, they were OK sales people but by working together they were incredibly successful.

Defining successful behaviours in successful sales professionals is something we have been working on for some considerable time. Come back to this Blog very soon and you’ll find more information on an exceptional way of identifying and defining successful people.