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The Crispian Advantage’s Guiding Principles


The Crispian Advantage’s practice is based on research and project success that helps clients manage change for competitive success.

We help clients:

  • Avoid the pitfalls that stall or slow change initiatives
  • Cope with their own shortcomings and distractions
  • Develop their people’s competitive curiosity and awareness
  • Develop competitively sustainable competencies
  • Align functions, teams and individuals for optimal performance

We achieve these results by following the following Guiding Principles

12 Guiding Principles

1.    Build on Existing Language 2.    Build Coaching Cascades to Reinforce Change 3.    Grow Revenue and Competency Together
4.    Identify Change Traps Early 5.    Create the Change Requiring Environment 6.    Uncover “Revenue Related Ignorance” to Drive Learning
7.    Remove Distractions to Release Time for Change 8.    Ensure People “Do Different Things!” 9.    The Only Right Process is the One which has People’s Commitment
10. Ensure “Everyone Walks The Same Talk.” 11. Measure the “How’s” Not Just the “What’s” Of Success.

12. Develop Speed, Intensity and Momentum


1. Build on Existing Language

Where clients have such language and best practices, we build on them. We help translate them into competitive competencies which are specific, measurable and replicable.  We focus coaches on applauding evidence of desired behaviors as well as correcting those that are not producing results.

2. Identify Change Traps Early

Companies routinely initiate change strategies and leaders routinely get stuck at making those changes. We help leaders and their managers avoid “change traps” like:

–      Not “walking their own talk” so people don’t see why should they bother

–      Seeing changes as a “quick fix” and being unaware of the integration such fixes need

–      “Throwing the baby out with the bath water” by discrediting what many are committed to  and creating a      “flavor of the month” atmosphere

–      Selecting standardized “spray and pray training that is unconnected to people gaining revenue

–      Advocating more is better.”  Loading more techniques on busy people is at best ineffective

–      Letting “urgency bleed out importance” rather than removing distractions

–      Paying lip service to coaching and allowing subjective coaching that confuses and de-motivates

–      Allowing “the perfect to be the enemy of the good” which results in little improvement

3. Remove Distractions to Release Time for Change

Facilitate customers to eliminate or reduce the distractions that we jointly uncover. What is it that people can stop doing to release time to refocus on improving their revenue generating actions?  . Aligning expectations is an essential part of answering this question.  Even when new strategies are introduced to leaders and their people Distraction Indices can be over 80%.  That is, leader’s expectations exceed what their people think is now required by 70%.

4. Build Coaching Cascades to Reinforce Change

Help change leaders lead through coaching. This means each manager:

  • Models commitment to the change
  • Uses the same “leader language”
  • Provides consistent direction,

If not, any change will be absorbed by the “white noise” of corporate life.

 5. Create the Change Requiring Environment

Set up aligned change expectations between leaders and each individual. These expectations flow in two directions in terms of activities and behaviors that they are to stop, start and continue doing. When agreed we help change managers then build accountabilities, performance measurement & management as well as rewards schemes to ensure expectations of both leaders and their people are met. Support, compensation, and other directional systems must be integrated so that everything points people’s behavior towards the strategic direction. It involves creating a culture that provides direction and focus formally, i.e. compensation, coaching, expectations, and informally.

6. Ensure People “Do Different Things!”

Consciously help people avoid getting better at what is already being done but doing better things excellently!  The need to grow and compete has even more impetus today.  Increased costs, competition, regulations and technology investment mean growth through innovation is imperative. These dynamics dictate transforming sales and marketing processes.

Guide people to:

  • Think “out-of-the-box” and “do different things”.
  • Define replicable skills,
  • Reducing reliance on a few talented
  • Develop new talent

7. Ensure “Everyone walks the same talk.”

Facilitate senior management, line managers, marketing and customer-facing people synchronize their behavior and use the same “leader language.” Sustainable results are only possible when customers and stakeholders get consistent signals of the direction of change. Otherwise people hunker down and “do what they’ve always done.”

8. Measure the “How’s” Not Just the “What’s” Of Success.

Identify the over-reliance on winning or losing metrics.  Help develop metrics that tell you quickly if you’re on the right or wrong track so that rapid sales and competitive improvement can occur by:

  • Changing the balance from outcomes to more process-based approaches.
  • Move management’s focus away from what was achieved to how they can win repeatedly.

9. The Only Right Process is the One Which Has People’s        Commitment

Respect those processes to which people are committed.  Identify and leverage those existing tools, skills, and processes that produce before introducing new concepts.  Where tools and processes are no longer aligned with a customer’s sales strategy, we work with the entire sales and marketing organization to make improvements through “rapid prototyping.”

10. “Paint the Train” – Grow Revenue and Competency Together

Design training and other initiatives that are directly linked to “real jobs.”  Avoid event based thinking which will just be endured and seen as distracting.  Focus on:

  • Improving point of revenue generation activities
  • Focusing on integrating revenue and competency growth on specific deals
  • Deliver learning at the point of greatest need—how to win.

11. Uncover “Revenue Related Ignorance” to Drive Learning

It’s not what you know, but what you don’t know that creates competitive vulnerability. We focus on helping people map their own ignorance to reach their full potential.

12. Develop Speed, Intensity and Momentum

Many training solutions can’t sustain the intensity and momentum required to overcome the inertia of the status quo. You need to:

  • Do different things throughout the company
  • Move with “speed” so that your changes are not mired in inertia or swept away by circumstance.
  • Move with “intensity” by focusing on doing a few new things excellently.
  • Build “momentum” by promoting early successes that have resulted from the change.

Successful change relies on overcoming cultural inertia-FIRST, by gaining line manager’s full commitment to change tools, processes, coaching and sales and marketing force skills. This means keeping managers focused on a few key changes at any one time.  Too broad a focus slows down the acquisition and application of new skills and competitiveness.


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