Introducing our clients to key stakeholders and jointly developing rapport, trust and a value proposition that will develop into strategic relationships.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Dr. Stephen Covey, Author, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
The “Indian Talking Stick” is a historical tool used for centuries by Native Americans to help people effectively negotiate a difficult conversation. In Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he describes it as one of the most powerful communication tools he has ever used. It continues to be used to build understanding and resolve differences respectfully and effectively.
The concept is simple: the person holding the stick can communicate their point and can continue to speak on this point until they feel they have been understood. The other person(s) are only permitted to speak for clarification or reflection in order to demonstrate they understand the speaker.
Once the speaker feels that his/her point has been understood, then the talking stick is passed to the next person, and the concept is applied again to that person.
This is an Initiatives founding principle. We want our client’s potential end users and market influencers to first be understood. We prepare key questions, interview them, drill down and document relentlessly what they say. We then take their comments, anonymize them, blend them in with the comments from many others in their industry, and form a composite report that outlines major themes and key insights we collectively gained.
End users and market influencers now have an opportunity to learn what the high-level views are from their industry peers without giving away competitive trade secrets. This is powerful information that most likely has never been collected and compiled in an anonymized form. We then introduce our clients to those we interviewed, their potential customers, and present the market data with them. This demonstrates we have built an understanding and key insights of their industry, which is of great value. It is also a powerful way for our clients to make a great first impression in their target market, because they made an investment to, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Our clients then have the option to build upon that momentum and utilize Initiatives as a business development “project manager,” to help drive their goals and objectives to closure.
Initiatives was established in 2005 in response to the growing need for strategic businesses development services for a variety of organizations. Unlike consulting firms that advise from the outside, Initiatives places a high emphasis on accountability and results by doing.
Initiatives did a superb job of guiding us through a maze of multiple contacts and tasks necessary to get the job done.