I am so thankful to the many online engineering communities who read my blog, access my website and – most of all – engage in LinkedIn Discussions with me. In this most challenging of economies, my engineers have remained open minded while I have rattled their cages and possibly even provoked a few of them! The engineering community understands the great respect I have for each of them and the training that this exacting discipline demands. The engineering community understands that their technical expertise may not ensure their job security as we recalibrate just what it means to be an engineer.
Earlier this year, I began this blog, Sales Aerobics for Engineers, based on the many years of dialogue I have had as a consultant to the industrial engineering community. I was disheartened to see so many engineers being displaced in this economy as their organizations grasped at strategies to balance cash flow, accounts payable and accounts receivable. I vowed that I would do whatever I could to engage the engineering community in a dialogue focusing on expanding their value to themselves, their customers and their organizations.
The engineering community responded. We have traveled this year together, discussing the interface of the technical and non-technical aspects of customer relationships. We have dissected (and will continue to do so) the obsession of the engineer with rushing towards tactical solutions that may be the Achilles heel of the engineering discipline as it currently exists.. We have discussed and parodied the engineering-sales interface so that we could examine the true value that might be achieved through collaboration between disciplines.
The engineers have called me out on topics, countered my statements with their perspectives and we have fearlessly communicated through the medium of the Internet. I have made great contacts and can count on some of my online engineers to always be there to set things right and provide balance to not only what I have to say, but also to how others may interpret the back-and-forth that comprises an online dialogue.
After all, that is why we are all here, communicating with each other. If there were set answers to everything, well, there would be no collaboration and no innovation. In spite of the status quo and in spite of the stigma of the techie persona, my engineers have been willing to listen to my hybridized perspective that incorporates the technical with the sales and marketing side of things.
By now we all acknowledge that things are not going back to the way they were. And we still are not sure the direction in which we all are headed. However, we have gained a tremendous amount of confidence discussing issues, seeking answers, and finding some sort of direction as we recalibrate our disciplines towards 2010.
As we head towards Thanksgiving Day, I give my thanks to the engineering community – domestic and international – who have encouraged and supported each other – and me as well – online through the many excellent engineering forums.
I am looking forward to continuing our collaboration and dialogue!