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a blog by Chris Barrow

Deep down coaching, follow up and electronic history

Here I am, involved in some deeply serious coaching with Tim Thackrah and Birgitta Henrikson. Sharon was there as well – but happy to be excluded from the photograph because she had a cold and hadn’t washed her hair that morning. For the last three years, Tim has been the only client I have worked with 1:1 – and it has been a great experience for us all – renewed for 2007 I am delighted to say. Yesterday, in a full-day meeting of the marketing team we considered, decided and acted on:

  1. a new corporate image and logo – designed by Cathy Johnson

  2. the content of a new Welcome Pack for patients

  3. and a new Welcome Pack for referring dentists

  4. a new job description for the Practice Manager

  5. a new organisational chart for the whole business

  6. and a lot of minor issues around 2007 marketing activity

As usual, my minutes of the meeting were prepared (in Microsoft OneNote) on the hoof and the various Welcome Packs and charts were created as we spoke in PowerPoint – and so at the conclusion I was simply able to hit “send” and my homework was done. That was a succesful habit I created as a financial planner in the 80’s – the client meeting is never finished until the homework is done. As a travelling salesman I would leave my client’s premises and find a hotel, restuarant – anywhere where I could pull over and finish the work before either the next meeting or retiring that night. I sleep best with an empty head and remember best before further distraction. Even when the clients came to see me in my office, I would allocate follow-up time after the client left – and my support team knew that no interruptions were allowed until I gave them the all-clear that the follow up was complete. Incidentally, I have never had a complaint from a client about taking and typing minutes and follow up “on the hoof” – I think they appreciate the immediacy and it gives them an insight into your work habits. Over lunch at (guess?) – Pizza Express, Farnham, we discussed the detritus that appears during house moves. Recalling my experiences of the last weekend, I was mentioning my role as an electronic archaeologist. As I worked my way down through layers of desk drawers and boxes out of storage, I began to construct a picture of how life evolved for teenagers in the latter years of the 20th Century. In reverse order, I uncovered:

  1. the very latest ipod video (the shuffle isn’t out here yet);

  2. the ipod nano;

  3. the ipod mini;

  4. the ipod;

  5. the mp3 player;

  6. the mini-disk player;

  7. the CD walkman;

  8. the portable hi-fi;

  9. the hi-fi

  10. the cassette player;

  11. the 6-track;

  12. the record player.

And, of course :

  1. enough CD’s to open our own shop;

  2. numerous blank CD’s with copies of the numerous CD’s copied on to them;

  3. a box full of mini-disks (now defunct);

  4. countless cassettes (equally defunct) and

  5. a collection of what are now known as vinyls and, as Birgitta pointed out, suitable as fruit bowls if they are immersed in hot water first.

Actually, in Manchester there is an antique 60’s record player and so the “LP’s” (as we know them) do occasionally get an airing, much to the disgust of assorted teenagers who laugh at the sound quality as well as the content. I don’t care, my collection of Moody Blues LP’s is as precious and comforting to me now as it was when first purchased. But moving house is a trip through history – in all departments – it was this collection of expensive electronics that caught my attention this time.

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