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Ep50 Synthesis vs. Analysis and the Power of Improv with Brooke Spatz
Episode 5010th August 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
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Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 50

Theres a huge difference between analysis and synthesis. Analysis requires you to break things down, measure them, and understand what happened. The very nature of "analysis" is rooted in the past, and the assumption that understanding what happened helps you figure out what to do. But, what happens when a pandemic hits, your company is going through digital transformation, and what worked in the past is no longer working?

That's where synthesis becomes critically important. Why? Synthesis provides you the interconnection of seemingly unrelated components and the ability to project what to do to help "skate to the puck" and add immense value as an orchestrator.

In this episode, we're joined by Brooke Spatz, a Sales Enablement Orchestrator in the middle of a transformation to help her company move from selling products to selling a platform. Tapping into her background as an actor, the guys explore the difference between success in the past vs. success today by exploring what it means to analyze vs. synthesize to create value for the organization. Improvisation seems like it's free-flowing and the like, but really to make that art form, there is a whole slew of rules that you need to learn. Brooke helps us explore so you can Orchestrate in the flow of business.


Intro 00:36  

Welcome to the inside sales enablement Podcast, where has the profession been? Where is it now? And where is it heading? What does it mean to you, your company, other functions, the market? Find out here. Join the founding father of the sales enablement profession Scott Santucci and Trailblazer Brian Lambert as they take Behind the scenes of the birth of an industry, the inside sales enablement podcast starts now.

Scott Santucci 01:07  

I'm Scott Santucci.

Brian Lambert 01:09  

I'm Brian Lambert and we are the sales enablement insiders.

Scott Santucci 01:12  

Our podcast is for sales enablement leaders looking to elevate their function, expand their sphere of influence, and increase the span of control within their companies. Together, Brian and I have worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enable initiatives as analysts, consultants, or practitioners. We've learned the hard way we just did in our pre free work here. Because this is a recording of a previous one. We've learned the hard way what works and what doesn't.

Brian Lambert 01:43  

Yeah, ask us about it sometime. I it was interesting, warm up to this call. And I think you guys are in for a real treat, because we're gonna be talking about analysis versus synthesis. As a sales enablement leader, you're an orchestrator and perspectives matter. And one of the things we're focused on here in season two is Understanding different perspectives, and more importantly, bringing people together to move forward to help clarify measures of success, provide examples of what it means to blend strategy and execution together to drive results and really gain the confidence to have more meaningful conversations in and among those people responsible for helping sales be successful. And as you guys know, we usually start with a centering story to Scott, take it away. What kind of story do you have for us today?

Scott Santucci 02:27  

What we're gonna have to do is go way back normally we start our stories in the 1800s or something like that. So we're going to go way back and we're going to go way back to his early as 391 BC. That's 391 BC. That's where we're starting our story from

Brian Lambert 02:45  

All right, great. Well,

Scott Santucci 02:47  

and what we're talking about is something called the attilan farce. The atone for

Brian Lambert 02:55  

it the what attilan

Scott Santucci 02:58  

for Exelon farce and Basically what the Italian farce is, it's, it's a style of theater that the Romans invented and if you kind of gotta go way back and you know, think about Greek mythology, and all those weird Greek plays that they did with their Lyle's, and, you know, all the stabbings and the, you know, the Greek tragedy that always end up so depressed. The Romans, of course, rip that off, because a lot of Romans ripped off Greek culture. And they were doing those Greek tragedies too. But the Romans, you know, it just, it was too heavy. A crowd, how many? How many plays Can you watch where everybody dies at the end? So what happened is, if you kind of can picture this, if you if you know, like acting and they have those masks, and they have a frowny mask and the big smiley mask with the heavy accentuated facial expressions, those come from the Greek model, so you would act with these masks on

Brian Lambert 03:58  

you put them in front of your face. Good, happy now.

Scott Santucci 04:01  

Exactly right? Remember that that's what acting was, I guess they didn't trust the craft and they had to have tools. You know, acting enablement Greek style one on one. Okay, so now we're fast forward to it, you do that. But what happened is in this town of a tiller, not to tell the Huns that's different in the Roman Empire, that what they really started doing is something different. And after the heavy, heavy, heavy main event, the actors would get on and sort of riff they would play on redoing that whole, that whole play, but they'd redo it, comedic and set hence, hence the idea of a farce. In no time. That became wildly popular. So it spread. And what that really is, is it's really the genesis of something called improvisation. So let's fast forward to the 50s. That guy improvisation got a renewed interest in the in the United States, particularly in Chicago. And in 1959, the second city formed and you might be aware of the Second City, a lot of famous actors that that we know about that are really funny like john candy, people like that. Jim Belushi came out of the Second City. And the second city really experimented with a lot of rules around how to do improvisation, which seems really interesting, right? improvisation seems like it's free flowing and the like, but really to make that form work. There's a whole slew of rules that you need to learn. And what's what's been very interesting now is that that form is moving into movies and TV. So if you've ever seen a show like Seinfeld, or

Brian Lambert 05:57  

Saturday Night Live,

Scott Santucci 05:58  

Curb Your Enthusiasm Saturday Night Live is more scripted than than that. But what? what Larry David is inside sometimes is they would etch out like scenes, and then they would ask the actors to sort of play off on each other. Right? Yep. So that's, that's what makes those shows about nothing, something about something. So what's interesting is it's really disruptive. It's disruptive to a lot of people. It's disruptive to the actors that you bring in. And that's really what our what our centering story here is going all the way back to ancient Roman to ancient Roman times of pivoting from just doing a play a certain way to doing a farce.

Unknown Speaker 06:45  

So what

Brian Lambert 06:48  

does this have to do with sales enablement?

Scott Santucci 06:50  

So what let's so let's break it down for for everybody listening. So one thing that's changed, is that the playbook that we've all run You know, here's the product, train the salespeople on the product, go sell the product, sort of the same classic, the analogy being the same as the great play, doesn't work anymore. And so we're all learning, a form of improvisation as we're trying to work backwards from customers. So that's that's one thing. Second thing, though, is is really difficult to learn how to do that, when we know only the rules of being very specific actors. I have studied my lines of classically trained, right, and there are certain rules of stage rules to go through. And when you start changing the rules to do something different, it causes a lot of people to go batshit crazy. And then another variable that's relevant here is, I hope our listeners have heard of design thinking.

Design Thinking is a technique that's being that's gaining more and more traction, and it's an approach to tackling complex human based systems to come up with some innovative solutions for it. And in order to do design thinking, the number one rule is to move away from analysis and concentrate more on synthesis. So the reason that we're having this conversation here is that the nucleolus many of us are really, really, really wired to analyze things a ways to Sunday. If you want to understand that just ask us about what our take. Our first take was on this on this podcast, but it's just very easy to get caught up until we have to know everything there is to know with everything before we start doing, but unfortunately today, we don't have the time to do that. So Joining us today is is Brooke Spats and Brooke Spats is, you know best known she's involved in the sales enablement society. She's best known for her work at omnitrax Brooke and I have worked a lot in employment The Ross devalue program at at omnitrax. So we've got a we have a lot of sweat equity. Don't Don't we broke about how it is to introduce something new. That may sound simple, but sometimes simple isn't easy. So Brooke, would you want to introduce yourself to the to insider nation?

Unknown Speaker 09:21  

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Brian, for having me on. We're talking about one of the topics that are near and dear to my heart. And in addition to Scott's intro just to add a little color, I've been in the sales enablement space for about 20 years or so now in some capacity of sales, marketing, Product Marketing roles, but always leaning toward more of an enablement focus. And one of the biggest things to me and what I'm really really passionate about are the we've been talking a lot about these words, the four words that are are always overarching for me are collaboration, problem solving, empathy and awareness. And so, this topic of of, of improv and I love the grounding story, Scott, it just it got me so excited thinking about, you know, I have so many thoughts about what, what happened. You know why they decided we don't like this anymore. We want to change was it influenced from just what they thought? Or was it the audience or both?

Scott Santucci 10:31  

Okay, have you ever seen a Greek

Unknown Speaker 10:33  

tragedy? Have I ever seen a Greek tragedy? I think

Scott Santucci 10:36  

it all would take was one yellowing of that and say, I'm done.

Unknown Speaker 10:41  

Yeah. Yeah, they're miserable. And you know, the masks that the we see that iconic image of the two masks together, I think for your listeners, the the comedy and drama, and the, the antithesis between the two, if you will, I mean, there's so opposite and That, you know that spawn somewhere and and I actually did not know the full story like you just told it I find it so interesting that what they were doing was taking what they had just done and almost replaying and replaying it in a different way. And, and we love doing that don't make Scott through these engagements we,

Brian Lambert 11:22  

we love it. So, so yeah, you're you're an actress too. You have an acting background.

Unknown Speaker 11:27  

I do have an acting background. Yes. And, and how's that helped you

Brian Lambert 11:33  

and sales enablement? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 11:34  

But, but it certainly doesn't leave you right. Oh, it's all the light ball. The world's a stage if you will.

Scott Santucci 11:40  

Well, here's what we did. So Brian asked you, how's that help you in sales? Now? I'm gonna ask everybody to go search her on IMDB. Oh, that video because it is hysterical.

Brian Lambert 11:53  

Gonna do that, but uh, Scott did.

Unknown Speaker 11:56  

Yeah. You know, did you I if you want I can speak to that for another moment. And as far as where I think it really translates in Yeah, absolutely love to hear that for me and in the roles that I've held, you know, I listed those those words you know, especially, especially empathy and awareness, and with you know, some of the formal and just experiential training I had in acting and you know, from a very young age it very quickly you realize these, the need to have empathy, empathy that is, is putting yourself in your audience's shoes and knowing your audience. And also being able to almost, you know, see yourself in through someone else's eyes while you're doing all these other things. So it definitely, you know, helped with with, you know, the l&d background that I have with with train i'd love being up in front of folks and getting you know, facilitating, etc. But you could do that and not be really effective with it because you're not necessarily Engaging the audience. And so, you know, the, that training helped helps me tremendously with with the empathy aspect and knowing your art and being able to walk in someone else's shoes very, very quickly. And, you know, I continue to apply a lot of those concepts with, with everything that we do today. You know, always trying to empathize with clients always, you know, when we're in workshops, trying to develop things, trying to have empathy both for, you know, for really everyone involved and, and, and I just think acting helps with that.

Brian Lambert 13:32  

Absolutely. That's a great story. And it really relates to our centering story. So that's awesome. And we'll keep bringing it back. Figuring out if we have a Greek tragedy here now. I'm trying to get that out of my head right now. But so the but this is great. See, the reason why you're on this call with us. This podcast, Brooke is we've been talking about analysis and synthesis for a while, but also the recent episode that we had with klauer, which was Episode 45 The modern day Marco Polo or Scott was Marco Polo. And we and you'd reached out to me and I just would love to have our listeners hear from you. What What struck you about that episode and perhaps how it relates a little bit analysis versus synthesis or improv?

Unknown Speaker 14:18  

Gosh, yeah. So I reached out to to you almost immediately after I listened to that particular podcast, and there were several things that stood out to me. Of course, if you listen to it again, I forget exactly where the timestamp was. But the topic of walking in another shoes was brought up by Doug and, and Scott and yourself and, you know, throughout that podcast started, you started talking about, you know, some ideas toward the end, you know, and Doug told the story about having, I believe it was either CFO or somebody in the financial Type role in the company he was with at the time to put together a presentation about how the company made money. And that just hit me so hard. I thought it was just awesome. Because we think so much about the things that, you know, kind of at this top level of, of what we have to roll out and how we check that box. And a lot of times we we forget that there are there's a fundamental baseline of knowledge that as simple as it may seem, we may be missing translating that or communicating that to the audience. And I just thought that was so neat. And one of the other things that really stood out to me was the point made about the merging of two things, which is strategy and tactics. And that sounds cool. Sounds like something you should be able to do. Yeah, we should, we should do that. But but the actual execution of trying to do that is a completely different story. And so I found myself asking Wow, that's a really cool idea. How do we do that? You know, how do you do that effectively? And of course, with everything that we're circling around today, between synthesis and analysis, it all, it all links together, right? In order to to sort of marry those two concepts of strategy and tactics. What do you guys call it? Stratecution? Yeah, yeah. There has to be a blend of these types of thinking and approaching problem solving.

Brian Lambert 16:30  

Yeah, that's great. And that episode with Doug and what you're bringing up here, I'm gonna, I'm going to kind of play off of a did some improv and play off of you with what go in here. You know, the interesting thing about where that discussion came from was this Venn diagram that Scott is shown is one of his webinars in the state of sales enablement. And the overlapping Venn diagram was with a circle of strategy in the circle of tactics, and where those overlap was Stratecution. As you just mentioned, that creates creates a space in between or an overlapping space. And the more I've worked in sales enablement, I realized that those two circles are very, very overlap not just a little bit overlapped but overlapped a lot in the more successful enablement professionals and understand that we call them orchestrators. And that's who's listening to our show. They operate in that space. And one of the things here that I'm building off of is the concept of improv the concept of creating space for the farce to happen in the first place to try something new. The idea of creating space when you walk in somebody else's shoes, the idea of creating space to understand both strategy and tactics, right, though that idea of space is something that I think Doug resonated with, that I resonate with, and I would just love to hear what your take is, with regard to being creative or improvising in the concept of space. What do you think about that? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 18:00  

You know, I think one of one of the most challenging or one of the things we sort of have to ask ourselves when we think about that space, as you're describing it is, am I comfortable or uncomfortable in a place of almost ambiguity? If you have this, I don't know what the end picture looks like, Am I comfortable? And if I'm not, how can I get comfortable? Because that is what what we're talking about when you feel like you need to know what the end looks like. You tend to block the creativity that can come out of this. We're saying improv right now or the design thinking aspect of, you know, creatively solving problems and working together to do that.

Brian Lambert 18:47  

So it's great. I mean, you could have space in a in a meeting, right, where you have a bunch of different perspectives. You could have overlapping space there of thoughts and ideas and in design thinking techniques, but you can also Have some space on a blank sheet of paper. And I've seen people actually struggle with, I call it you know, blank, blank sheet itis it's a blank sheet of paper. I know I need to produce something I'm gonna

Unknown Speaker 19:13  

deal with this. Yeah,