As a break from my consulting and business development work, I have been taking lessons on picture framing. My significant other is an artist, and she has commissioned me to mount and frame a number of her works for a forthcoming exhibition. Things got off to an interesting start, when I inadvertently framed the first print the “wrong” way round (see the image below). Because there wasn’t an obvious top or bottom, I didn’t realise that I hadn’t placed the image in the way she intended. But, luckily, this “error” created a fresh perspective, and I realised that I was simply doing what I do all with the time with my clients when I reframe the information, problems or situations they present.
Some recent examples of where I have helped my various clients to reframe a situation and make a breakthrough when they have become stuck or blocked in their own thinking include:
- shifting from a “retail” sales model to a “wholesale” strategy that focuses on aggregators and distributors;
- treating an employer as just one part of a mixed portfolio of clients, rather than thinking that the regular job was a barrier to acquiring more direct clients;
- refining the sales process to avoid giving away too much proprietary information during the RFP process, but still demonstrating value by delivering the best solution in terms of quality and technical capabilities;
- repositioning the business to leverage proprietary data and analytics to build long-term revenue streams via commercial relationships and partnerships, rather than competing for increasingly price-sensitive, commoditized and transactional work;
- adopting a more client-centred approach when designing a new on-line product that hitherto had been viewed internally as simply a technology-driven service extension;
- using a service-design model for developing and delivering a communication strategy that needs to engage multiple stakeholders who simply want to know “what’s in it for me?”
Another useful insight that my picture framing has given me is the use of complementary and contrasting mount boards and mouldings to emphasise certain colours, to bring out highlights, to add depth and perspective, or to the give the illusion of infinite space and/or possibilities. Again, all things which I bring to the discussions I have with my clients.
Next week: FinTech Melbourne’s latest pitch event