Gilmore has a Tolkien look when you first meet him, with a somewhat reserved personality and smart eyes that twinkle through frameless glasses. Jim Gilmore and Joe Pine co-authored the milestone work: The Experience Economy. This tome has become a cult classic for Starbucks, Home Depot, the Cerritos Public Library, and a myriad of other organizations.
The Experience Economy proposes that the economies of modern business have morphed over the past 100 years from fungibles, to manufactured products, to services and then to experiences.
Then in one lunch conversation, Jim told me that they noticed that when you combine products and services, you generally create experiences. He then asked, “What happens when you combine services and experiences?” His proposition was you had transition . . . that place where change, results and performance occurs.
I thought that was pretty good for many years until recently.
I came to understand that transition and change were part of the interaction at all of the previous economies. You traded your eggs in the commodities economy to get shoes. In the services economy you bought the advice of a stock market expert to transition you wealth to greater heights.
So if transition doesn’t follow experience, what does?
Synergy. That place where 1 + 1 + 1 = 5, where the sum of the parts is greater than the individual parts.
This is the Harley Davidson, who’s loud motorcycles would have never weathered their poor quality period, were it not for their dedicated “Hogs” who made a statement with leather vests, harness boots and their gang.
This is Easy Eddie, the famous lawyer of Al Capone who turned states evidence against Capone to send a message to his own kids about values. Only years later when his son Dutch O’Hare became a World War II Ace did the synergy of Easy Eddie’s value statement scream success.
This is the world where success gives way to significance. It is why leadership takes precedence over managing, because an inspired Thermopylaeian army of hundreds can take on hundreds of thousands.
Synergy is why a Xerox idea, taken by Steve Jobs, can be changed into a value called Apple computer. Yes the mouse and the graphical interface are inventions of Xerox. The iPad was an idea the author first saw in a promotional video by Compaq Computer decades before Apples introduced their home run product.
You do not have to invent, you only need to synergize the existing to a realm of significance. The first World Wide Web was a realm of static web pages, electronic brochures. Nevertheless, the second internet is a place where people communicate dynamically. This Web 2.0 is where significance finds the form of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs everywhere in a give and take interaction. Ask Al Gore if he wished he had understood the value of this significant change.
Synergy can bring undreamed levels of success. It is a lot more fun. It inspires those who participate and those that watch. It is the magic of marital relationships that, done right, bring us Mohandas Gandhi. It is the magic of the harvest that occurs every year the seed is combined with the soil, water and sunlight.
In sales it is the imperative that says you cannot “talk at” your customers anymore. Those who have Synergy Selling skills partner with their customers AND THEIR VISION (i.e. the vision of the customer) to experience success in massive, unexpected ways.
What are the parts of synergy? Synergy is:
· Duck Bites (being 1000% better)
· A place of absolutes (values)
· Natural Selection (the law of attraction and deselecting non-fits)
· Interaction (the strength of diversity in thought and skill)
· Guarding Against the Trap of Consensus
Synergy. Stay tuned. This ship is about to leave port.