The Value Revolution

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I’m a great believer in learning from other industries, which is why over the past twelve months I have become slightly obsessed with the quiet revolution that has taken place in the creative services and design industries over the better part of the last decade, led by Blair Enns.

It was in 2010 that Blair wrote his Win Without Pitching Manifesto. In essence, the Manifesto declared it was time to stop writing lengthy proposals and giving away expertise for free. As someone, who in a former life, worked in an organisation that produced close to 1000 proposals and tenders per annum (in my account alone!), I wish I had of read it earlier.

First Follower’s clients are increasingly confronted with complex problems, rapidly changing competitive landscapes and a war for talent. The value they are able to offer to their clients is intrinsic to their success. Part of First Follower’s expertise is being able to distil this value effectively. It is with great effect that we make organisations more revenue and profit by helping them understand their client base more effectively. In doing this, First Follower identifies the expertise their clients are willing to pay a premium for when thevalue can be clearly articulated.

This is a really confronting proposition for many professionals.

Which is why we can learn from the revolution that has taken place in the creative industries and apply these lessons to the corporate world. Too often we give away our expertise up front – tell us about your methodology, how would you solve this issue, what is the ANSWER? Oh, and please do this on the basis of a Request for Tender (RFT) which will have minimal information. You may be able to ask questions (or may not) and if you do we will share this information with your competitors and so on…

And it is time to say no.

I first connected with Blair in mid 2017, during which time he was focused on completing his new book Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour and to be honest he wasn’t really that interested in working with me! One of the reasons was the WWP methodology is premised on creative/digital/advertising agencies rather than corporate or professional services. 

But I persisted as my hypothesis is that that these frameworks can be successfully translated in the corporate and professional services environments, where value is paramount. As a result I am thrilled to be travelling to Austin in the next week to continue my revolutionist training with Blair.

Ceinwen McNeil