Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Aug 26, 2010

It’s been a great summer. Lots of work; lots of time off and a great opportunity to plan ahead a bit for the upcoming crazy season of September through the rest of the year.

Here on the beach, where I’ve spent the better part of July and August both working and…not working so hard, all summer I’ve noticed the sharp changes to the beach from last summer. In most places the sand had been scoured from the shore by last March’s big northeaster leaving much of the beach pebbled up with rock-strewn cuts drawn between the low and high tide marks. Once we were past the early June reality of…”it is what it is”, the beach has worked perfectly over what clearly has been the best weather in 25 years according to the locals.

And, then with these last four days of rain, high winds and pounding surf, the beach has been totally changed in an instant with not just sand, but 2 to 3 feet of perfect, fine, light brown sand deposited everywhere along the beachfront. No more rocks, no more stepping gingerly across the pebbles, no more kids building castles out of rocks and not sand, but then…no more summer.

Changes obviously occur on the beach constantly with the shifting sands. When we return to weekends in Vermont in another month, the changes will be dramatic since it will be the height of the foliage season.  In another week, when I’m back in the regular pattern of going to the office in Boston everyday and teaching again at Tufts and MIT, in the forefront of my mind is the fact that this thought process of “change” has already stimulated me to think quite a lot about what changes need to be made in the business and among the services that we provide as I think toward 2011.

In my career, I have always found that planned change is a very good thing.  It’s been good for the beach and I’m looking forward to shaking it up a bit in the business later this fall.  In these times of continuing economic uncertainty, rapid evolution of the technologies that cocoon us, and, most importantly, the dramatic shifting in the sands of our customers, this is the perfect time of year to think through all the changes we need to make as we move into 2011.

Just thoughts from the beach…at the end of a perfect summer


Tags: sales management, sales management effectiveness, management, leadership, strategic planning