Convergence Channel: Tour de Convergence

Comparisons are often made between the competition and endurance aspects of athletic activities to pursuits in the business world. Eight tips for riding high illustrate parallels between the convergence wave and cycling.

Rule #5: Know How Machine Works

Your business or your bike has nuances that time and experience help you appreciate. Is your machine built for speed or comfort? By this I mean can your company adapt quickly or will it take time to move them out of their “comfort” zone into a new market? Staying in the right gear throughout your business journey or ride takes experience.

The advantage of being “experienced” means you know how to pace yourself against stronger and more aggressive competition (remember my son, Brian). This means you should know how and when to shift gears. Your team needs to recognize when to downshift or up-shift when working with new department stakeholders, especially the IT team.

Rule #6: Know Your Limitations

Although Clint Eastwood said it first, I will emphasize the fact that understanding your strengths and weaknesses is key to a successful business plan, and a successful bike ride. Knowing objectively where you are strong, where you have some weakness, and where you want to get off your bike and walk it up a hill, is smart and healthy.

When we were biking in Colorado last August at 9,500 feet and approached a very steep hill, my son just stood up and went for it. I chose discretion as the better part of valor. I walked the bike up a short but intense “hill.” We were only 15 minutes into a 90-minute ride. I always finish what I start, so while I was not happy, I did use my head.

Don’t let your emotions or competitors draw you into a decision you may later regret.

Rule #7: Time Your Resource Use

Make sure you have the right gear for the journey you are planning. For example: a mountain bike has knobby tires that are great for traction in the dirt, but dramatically increase rolling resistance on paved roads. While a one-speed beach cruiser is fun in the sun on flat ground, it will flat wear you out trying to tackle the Colorado Rockies or even small hills here in Ohio.

A convergence journey means you need to select the right gear as well. Choose manufacturing partners that will “gear-up” your team with support and training. Look past price to how well they will support you in the race, and what their expectations are of your team.

Technical training
is considered foundational to a systems integrator’s success, but what about the sales and marketing training support?

Rule #8: Drink Plenty of H2O

Whether pushing yourself on a challenging ride, or competing in a new technology space, you must sustain the effort and hydrate frequently. To compete in the converged market, your team needs the right training and skills, the “vital fluids” of a competitive company.

Leverage all of your channel partners that have a sincere and vested interest in your continued success. Seek out the best and most innovative training approaches that can replenish your entire team. Look for companies that have worn the yellow jersey in the past and want you to be part of the team.

Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting. He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience.


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About the Author

Paul Boucherle

Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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