For Impact


Designing Context

Story | | Nick Fellers

For the past few years I’ve been on big kick around CONTEXT.

Strategy, sales, leadership, communication or coaching is VERY responsive to CONTEXT. Most people nod in agreement when I make this point… but think about the last time you were in a strategy session (of any kind!!!) where you took a deliberate time-out to examine CONTEXT.

I just received the latest issue of Rotman Management from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. This magazine is – hands down – my favorite for ‘design-thinking’.

This issues is dedicated to changing behavior! Karen Christensen, the editor writes, “At it’s core, every organization is in the same business: changing behavior. For-profit companies try to saw consumers to buy their products; governments try to convince citizens to pay their taxes on time; and an NGO might want to encourage families to sign up for tuition support for their children.”

Buried in the first article is this little nugget about DESIGNING CONTEXT! “We know from Psychology that context influences choice, it should be possible to design contexts to steer choices to a desired outcome.”

Great sales designs the CONTEXT through PREDISPOSITION, the FLOW of the VISIT, and TEAM SELLING (that is, determining the context of the team that will engage with the prospect.)