Ep50 Synthesis vs. Analysis and the Power of Improv with Brooke Spatz

Ep50 Synthesis vs. Analysis and the Power of Improv with Brooke Spatz

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,

Brian Lambert 19:15  

it’s what am I supposed to do on this blank? I need some I need a template or I need something to start with. I’m even seeing I don’t know if that relates or not. But that, that jumps into my head. You can actually have space on a sheet of paper too. Oh,

Unknown Speaker 19:26  

no, I agree with that, too. Because that’s I’m very familiar with that feeling. We all have it happen. And a lot of times the the less of a template or the less of an idea or vision you have. I shouldn’t say vision because i think i think that part, let’s set that aside for a minute. I think it is. It’s finding comfort with that blank piece of paper. And instead of panicking about well, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here because what we we tend to do is is worry about getting things wrong, you know, and And I know Scott is, is really passionate about this because, you know, he’s yelled at me a couple of

Unknown Speaker 20:08  

nights, just an intense way, but you know, just don’t worry

Unknown Speaker 20:11  

about it, just do it, you’re not gonna get it wrong. It’s like we have but exactly what is it that you want? You know, we all fall into that and getting rising above that, that, that fear, if you will, and feeling really confident with within that space is is a goal that I think is really worth focusing on in order to be an orchestrator.

Brian Lambert 20:34  

Yeah, and I think the the role that Scott plays as a catalyst and that is critical, and I’ve been on the receiving end of that, and I actually appreciate it, you know, the next day or even the next minute, because sometimes that’s what you need. You’re looking at the blank sheet and you just need to start typing or even age interesting. It’s not so much in the moment though, and I think that’s what I want to give some clarity here for is

Scott Santucci 21:01  

To do something big, you have to be able to do something small. And some of it has to check your own biases. And it’s one of those things where you can go and tackle something really, really huge. Like, you know, Brooke and I worked on a major transformation project at our company. And it starts out, you got to do some really tiny things that are very, very uncomfortable. And most people are unwilling to do those uncomfortable things. So if you’re not going to do it, no one else is going to do it. So that’s that’s really what I love about this idea about synthesis versus analysis. What do we know for sure, we know for sure with everything that we’ve learned in business is to analyze things at ways to Sunday, I want to report I want to look at the data. But what we know for sure is things get connected by people and through people and through making the space work. And there’s no one person who can look at a set of data and say, here’s the answer because you’re going to interpret it differently. So part of what was interesting about this, this exercise for our listeners, I challenge Brooke and Brian, Brian is loves analysis. I love synthesis. So part of it is we’ve got a little bit of an oddball couple going on. I said, here’s what would be awesome. What if we were to work with Brooke, let’s get you guys to work together on the difference between analysis and synthesis. But really understood, let’s understand why this is such a big deal. It’s such a big deal because we don’t even have the vocabulary to do all of the things that we need to do do all the doc connecting to make things work, and we’re going to be orchestrators. We’ve got to learn some new rules. And then we have to introduce no new rules to people because as we try to infect other people with our positivity and our awesomeness, got to have the right rules. And if they don’t know the rules to engage, they’re going to go back to the old rules, and we’ve got a Greek tragedy on our hands. Instead of a fun, a fun farce,

Brian Lambert 23:02  

yeah, and I’ve seen that at a very human level as we look at people engaging in something new transformation, or rollout or just a pilot even. And let’s, let’s keep it simple for our listeners, you know, we’ve got this concept of space, we’re in the space, we’re probably in the space a little bit now. And you guys are like, get to the point or whatever. And we’re creating the space and purpose in this podcast. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna say, look, there’s there’s primarily two reactions to that space that we see. On one hand, you’ve got the folks that say, I already know what to do in that space. I’m going to get at it. I’m going to, I’m going to engage, I’ve seen it before, I’m going to look for cause and effect. I’m going to look at the past and I’m going to project the future. And I’m going to take action I’m going to do and so we’re going to call that the analysis side and I’m not trying to sell that short of just trying to keep us moving in and say there’s a response that you can you can take to say I’m To analyze, there’s another one that’s around, okay, I’m in this space, what’s possible here? What can I do? What’s needed for the organization? what’s available? How do we get creative? And how do we get multiple perspectives in here to bring things together to innovate or to create something new? Instead of saying, I already know what to do, it’s, I wonder what we can do. And it’s what’s possible. That’s the other side, which is synthesis. So we’re going to frame out and breathe some life into these concepts of analysis and synthesis today. And then you get to decide really about what your take is on that certainly, we’re going to have a point of view on it. And, and let’s, let’s talk that through. But, you know, Brooke, what’s your reaction to kind of those two buckets of, of a response to space? What, what do you think?

Unknown Speaker 24:48  

Well, I think that if we related back to sales enablement, and where we are today, and what a lot of us experience we’ve probably all been in situations Where we are being asked to do a million different things, and we’re trying to move fast and we’re trying to deliver deliverables and getting a a, finding the space in between execution and strategy. It can be very difficult. If you’re not purposeful about it, and Scott, you’re spot on when you said, you know the rules and process. I find it really fascinating. The improv analogy is perfect because why do we love improv? I mean, most of us do we love watching actors just kind of think on their feet and and deliver something awesome. What we don’t always realize is behind the scenes, there is a process and there are rules of engagement. Yes, and the more successful deliveries you see the best ones, you know, the most epic, you know, I could think of three or four. Exactly what

Brian Lambert 25:59  

like like when Some of the unwritten rules that I wouldn’t know about for exams just

Unknown Speaker 26:02  

think, oh, the rules Yeah. You know, a big one is the Scott you’re mentioning it, adding new information, focusing on and and you know, when we compare a nap, you know, the analysis mindset which is looking at the past and the things that you know, this is what we’ve done these are this is how it’s always worked versus you know, the synthesis of creating something new or bringing those parts together and creating something new. That’s looking to the future and that can feel like it’s slowing things down, which is a lot but but it’s so incredibly necessary and in the end, it speeds things up and and the end result is so much better. Yes. You know, things like adding new information not blocking, they, you know, you never want to block another if you’re if you and I Brian are improving, which we basically are doing right now you don’t want to block the other person’s thought process or their flow. And we’ve talked about this one off off the podcast for a few minutes with the idea of asking questions during an improv is actually frowned upon because it can break the flow as well. Instead, you want to try to be present in the moment and be focusing on specifics and adding more details and bringing things into add color.

Scott Santucci 27:26  

Exactly like I’m going to do right now.

Unknown Speaker 27:29  

Go for it.

Scott Santucci 27:30  

add to what Brooks to add to what’s Brooke, what Brooks is talking about, is think think about a situation where you’re doing in a training environment, and somebody disrupts the roleplay because they say my clients never going to do this. Yeah, that’s a that’s an example. Another example, Brian is I know we’ve heard heard me talk about Yes. And part of what you want to do is if Brooke is talking and I’d say yes, everything I heard what you said Great, but and that we’re really used to saying that what I’ve just done is I’ve negated everything that she said. And now I’m imposing my rightness on if I say yes, and then I can build on it. And my job in improv is to always move it forward. And you have to do it instantaneously. So other rules are you have to trust people, but you have to pay attention, not on what you’re going to say. You have to pay attention to what the other person is saying. So you have to really listen very, very carefully. So you have to develop completely different listening skills. And my job is to make Brooke look better by my ad, not me. And if you’re going to take the ball, your job is to build on what I said, and so on and so forth. That’s that’s how you get that positive energy and positive momentum. But you can see in that chain, how easy it is for somebody break it,

Unknown Speaker 28:55  

yes. And

Scott Santucci 28:57  

then see exactly, just that.

Unknown Speaker 29:01  

in a, in a business setting, we’ve practiced recently, I’ve been practicing the yes and so much more because we talk about it so much. And you’re great at it, Scott, and it is a, it’s just one little addition, it is it makes a profound impact on education. And it, I encourage everyone to try it. It’s pretty, it’s pretty impactful.

Brian Lambert 29:27  

Yeah. And I think when you look at that you can get into a state of flow. And one of the things are two of the things I think that that I’ve seen that that can really, you know, throw a wrench into things. One is, you know, obviously taking the opposite of what you guys just said, but I think there’s this concept of time and Burcu alluded to it. Well, we don’t have time for that. Or, you know, I already know the answer. So why don’t we just, you know, in jump jump to that answer. Do those violate the rules of improv and synthesis Those two things are, are those is there? Are those frowned upon? Like, why are they so prevalent? You know, because those are real barriers that I’ve seen.

Unknown Speaker 30:11  

They definitely are. I think it’s, I think it is definitely overarching and, and most of us experience it and it’s also self driven because I think it’s in part at least has to do with setting expectations and putting, you know, putting that process in place and following that process, whatever that is, you know, the, the rules of engagement. And if you and your team have having to have those rules in place or that model in place, then you’re less reactionary and you tend to be less pressured by a lot of times externally. Express external sources of have imposed timeframes and It just I think has everything to do with setting it. You know, setting those expectations up front. And and they have to be carefully, meticulously put together, you know, as a mission statement, and you know, as part of your, I’m gonna steal from Scott as part of your operating model, right?

Brian Lambert 31:21  

Yeah, loves Scott, what’s your take on that? Do you think if I were to inject and say, well, we’ll have an hour, let’s get this done? Do you think that’s an analysis frame or synthesis frame? You think it’s analysis?

Scott Santucci 31:32  

Yes. what it is you’re you’re imposing an element of control. Mm hmm. rather than letting the flow happen. That’s definitely one thing. And you’re bringing your own anxiety, your own goals into it. I think, for me to piggyback on what what Brooke was saying that the best analogy that I have is it’s like a tennis match. And the people who are doing synthesis or synthesizing are actually playing the match there. actually literally back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, doing a tennis match. And the people who are analyzing are sitting in the sands watching the tennis match. And the reason that I think that getting into this flow and improv is so important and that you need to do it in your team is because our salespeople are dealing with it on a daily basis, they don’t get the time to analyze a bunch of stuff. We want them to be analyzing a bunch of things to check boxes and fill in information. They don’t have that luxury when they get on a call with a it or have a face to face with a client. They need to be able to put things in front of that customer to get them to react. And then they have to be able to listen to what’s happening in the moment, and be able to anticipate where it goes from there, but allow the conversation to flow. And I think one of the things that’s valuable about improv and this whole idea is synthesis and analysis is a completely different way of working. It doesn’t replace We still need to analyze, it’s just don’t let the analysis just choke out the synthesis because the synthesis is where you do all the dots connecting.

Brian Lambert 33:11  

Yeah. And so let’s let’s draw a little bit of a compare and contrast because I really want to breathe. I mean, if I will put myself in the listeners shoes, I’d, you know, obviously synthesis we would be leaning towards just because of the COVID era innovation, it’s a word that says it screams digital economy. However, the the reality of most companies is that they’re in an analysis driven culture with a lot of data and a lot of numbers. I’d like to just, you know, kind of go through a bit of a compare and contrast here to draw a bit of a distinction and draw draw a wedge between these not saying one’s better or worse than the other, but just making sure we’re clear on what these are. For example, analysis we’ve talked about data rearview mirror said, task, attention to detail I think the the impact of an analysis type of mindset and approach is maybe, I don’t know, looking at what happened in the past and being able to show what’s happened through data or something like that. Whereas synthesis is more focusing on bringing things together, riffing off of or building off of others, combining things, putting things together. And really, you know, Scott, you and I have talked about this. It’s this idea of, let’s try to infer and build insights on what’s going to happen in the future, or what’s happening right now, like today. So what’s your guys’s reaction to those types of criteria, if you will, and do you want to add anything else to those to help our listeners understand that there is a difference between the two?

Unknown Speaker 34:49  

I’ll take that. I’ll take that for a minute. I think that having I think it’s really important to first grounded in both are necessary. That we’re not saying that one is better than the other, I think both analysis and synthesis are necessary to get to that, that outcome, whatever it is. And that being said, it’s it’s the balance between them and understanding the lists you just gave her great Brian because we want to first do is be aware of those, you know, those those indicators, if you will, of where we are and how we’re processing things and how we’re, how we are thinking. And so I I, you know, I think one of my the most fun examples to me of a great combination between synthesis and analysis is the Food Network show chopped, and I think a lot of your listeners, most people are familiar with it, but if you think about that, the process that those contestants go through, and from the opening of the basket to the figuring out what they’re going to cook and what They figure out what that end thing they’re trying to put together. When it’s going what is going to look like the most successful contestants. And usually the ones who win are a great example of the perfect blend between synthesis and analysis. Because they’re able to analyze the ingredients they have in front of them and apply past knowledge to what they are and what they can do, and then have the synthesizing capability to very quickly on their feet come up with an innovative solution to blend those many, many times very disparate ingredients that make no sense together on paper into something awesome.

Brian Lambert 36:38  

Yeah, I love that. And I think you can do that in a moment in time. And I’ve also seen synthesis over a long period of time, you know, hundreds if not thousands of little touch points over time, yielding something different because people paid attention and they understand what’s happening at a micro scale, and then they’re able to infer what to do in the math. grow. Scott, I don’t know what your thoughts are on this, but I’d love to hear from you as well on, especially on Brooks comments, both are required in your tech take on it in that regard.

Scott Santucci 37:13  

So I want to address it, I want to make two points. So point number one is as a listener, synthesis is a concept that’s going to seem very vague. And what we’re going to what you’re probably going to do is you’re going to apply the lens that you know, which is to analyze it, and that makes it even further reachable from you, the harder you try to analyze it. So I think the first thing to think about is they’re they’re just two different levers. And let’s I’m gonna be sciency you know, Brooke you love you love it when I get science. But let’s, let’s get a little sciency to draw some contrast, if you are being a biologist you’re observing how things work. You’re making observations and synthesizing information because you’re going to have to put it together. Now, on the other hand, if you wanted to take all those, that same person and measure growth charts and things like that you’re analyzing one is good for one kind of decision making. One is good for a different kind of decision making. Now, let’s bring this to life here of why this distinction is important. All of us are familiar with a boatload of data that we can collect about salespeople. How much data do you guys track inside your companies? Right? How much do you track about whether they’re consuming this asset or that asset, whether they’ve taken this course or how long they’ve been in this course, or whether they’re at quota or not a quota or anything like that? Does that any of that information help you figure out whether a salesperson is good or not? All it does is it’s it’s measuring things. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do it. But what you what you can find out is whether or not a salesperson has the ability to connect the dots with lots of information and put it into a way that’s understandable for a customer. And that’s synthesis. So the challenge that we have are we have to figure out in this world that we’re living is how do we toggle between these two things, and recognize a lot of us are going to be super comfortable with analysis, because that’s something that we can put on a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint and we can show our boxes is checked and we can get people off our back. But does it solve any problems? So I think these are the contracts that are important. Yeah, there

Unknown Speaker 39:53  

your exam of sorry, Brian.

Unknown Speaker 39:56  

No, go here. I got excited because no, go for it.

Brian Lambert 39:59  

Yes. Right.

Unknown Speaker 40:00  

Yes, yes. Yeah. You know, Scott it’s, it’s, you’re absolutely so spot on with the with that cup that example because that is exactly what we do is we look we have two sides of the coin to look at we have all this data and and all these numbers and can we really glean the information that we need in order to help those people those sellers to become you know better versions of themselves and what they want to be and be more successful etc etc. And I tend to be in that particular example I and over the years I have always leaned more toward the synthesis side of that, because I have found that just you know, simply observing a live conversation and riding the field or, you know, nowadays being very, you know, hopping on a call and and being there as a fly on the wall, even in the right context that I’m here to, to not to judge you by any stretch, I’m here to I’m here to just observe to see what our our clients are, you know what you’re going through sales rep and what our clients are talking about, and to help be a connector between that information that’s being shared as much as possible. And the every time for me, in my experience, it has been so much more effective to look at it through that lens in order to execute the kinds of things later on down the road that we try to. Yeah, enablers, right.

Brian Lambert 41:40  

Yeah, and I, you know, this is a great point. And what it what it brings to mind is it just kind of did a little bit. Let me let me dump this out and see what you guys think. So Scott, you’re talking about the data level, right and synthesizing there to infer you know, we’re hearing a lot about collaboration today. versity etc, you can set the size at the people level around projects and initiatives. So bringing different perspectives together as orchestrators, we’re going to have to do that. So this idea of finding patterns or communicating among people, etc, is going to require some synthesis activities or, or mindset or approaches, especially, you know, for example, this improv analogy, and then we’ve got DEP synthesis. So the Commercial Ratio, Scott that you’ve been talking about at Commercial ratio.com, you guys can check that out. But that’s a, that’s a roll up, if you will, are a synthesis of the commercial engine. And if you think about all the moving parts of that, and sales and marketing, that’s a measure of those things coming together. I’ll even go so far as to say that company synthesis through merger acquisition and what that could look like, and then where I wanted to go with with this build up is at a professional level. A story that I would like to share is I read a book by Franz Johansson from Harvard and He actually has a book called the Medici effect. And one of our podcasts got we called about, we had a cultural synthesis with the Renaissance and Marco Polo and Episode 45 that Brooke was talking about.

So that’s a cultural synthesis at the crossroads there in Italy. But one of those things that was interesting was there was a guy who studied bugs in entomologist, and he understood how termites in the desert, kept their termite mound cool. And he for some reason, he geeked out on that got a degree in that and he loved it, but then he switched to engineering. And there was a bid that came out from one of the governments if they wanted to build a office building in the desert, and they were looking for a cost effective way to do that. And what he did was he basically built the building, like a termite mound. And the way that termite mounds keep cool is they build tunnels underground, and they align it with water, and then they build a shaft in the middle so the hot air rises and the hot air goes out the top and sucks in water or air in the bottom that runs through Water, which is exactly how an air conditioner works. So using the synthesis of these two fields of entomology and engineering, he was able to build an office building based on termite mound principles. And there any any innovation today, to me that’s achieving some sort of breakthrough is the synthesis of something with another another thing, you know, including a fusion food, which I love. So I’m just kind of inventorying all these these, these these transformative things that have happened, and it’s not because somebody analyzed it to death. It’s because to me, they they’ve synthesize something with something else. But what do you guys think of that any other stories come to mind?

Scott Santucci 44:46  

Wow. So I think that works. I think if we were to, you know, put these into buckets, you’re going to first here’s the synthesis that you do as an individual So you know, Brian, Brian’s example, that’s, I don’t want to say an academic example, it’s a big brain example. Then you can go all the way down to an example of doing your job or training a salesperson. I think the first thing is to get comfortable with what synthesis is, make it relatable to you first, it’s got to be you first, then the next thing is you have to understand it well enough, because you’re going to need to work in a team. And you want to introduce some of those rules. And I’ll tell you one rule to always introduce is yes. And if there’s one rule to implement on a team, it’s Yes. And the other thing, the second rule that if you could introduce would be learn how to give constructive positive feedback. Instead of because we know how to give constructive negative feedback and focus on problems. What we don’t know how to do is envision what the future is going to look like. So I think part of what you’re talking about Brian is I think, like To make it to make this idea land, you know, is this touchy feely? Is this squishy? What the heck does this have to do with my job? How does this have to do with collaboration? Like step number one is you have to recognize you do this to do your job. Because no one in sales enablement that still has a job isn’t, isn’t the synthesizing. But you got to recognize when you’re synthesizing and when you’re analyzing, because it’s so easy to get caught up around the axle and you know, try to apply analysis to work that requires synthesis and vice versa. You just get 00 stuff done. So I think the first step is you got to make it relatable to yourself. Then you have to figure out specific applications of it. Then you have to find really stress yourself. How do you talk about it with other people? Because you can’t it’s just almost impossible to synthesize by yourself. So I’m gonna throw that I’m throwing the proverbial you know the hopper Potato Brook.

Brian Lambert 47:01  

Yeah. Brooke, you get the last word. And then I’ll wrap this up here, because this has been a great conversation but don’t want to overrun the synthesis brains of our listeners.

Unknown Speaker 47:13  

I think it was, it was well said, Scott, it made me think of when you say that, that specific applications, because in my analysis, you know, in my How do I do this brain? A lot of times I like to think about that stuff, you know, how can I apply this and it a long, long time ago, someone very wise, and it said to me, you know, work on catching people doing something, right. Mm hmm. And when it comes to that positive, finding the positive, positive feedback and making it specific, and, you know, when we give specific positive feedback, what does that turn into? It turns into a repeatable thing. So, if you think about it that way, I mean, that’s just as another one that’s really great to apply is you know, try to catch people doing something, catch people doing something right. I’ll leave it with that.

Brian Lambert 48:01  

Yeah, I love that. Well, thanks so much, Brooke, for joining us on this. It’s been real fun. Just a blast really to explore analysis and synthesis with you. I’ve learned a lot on this, this episode and, you know, I’m going to try to try to be more improv oriented and now that I understand what some of the rules might be, and for our listeners out there, definitely love to hear your thoughts on this. We, we are are trying to synthesize a lot a lot of different touch points, whether they’re with our customers with you and the insider nation with folks like Brooke or even even through the as you could tell some of the things that are happening in the broader landscape. So we’d love to hear your thoughts on this. And also where do you get breakthrough? You know, what, what is the power of analysis of the power synthesis and what examples might you have so drop us a line engage at insight Etsy calm. Also check out Commercial ratio.com and You know, we look forward to hearing from you as you as you’ve learned and really embraced this idea of orchestrating in the gap between strategy and tactics. Enjoy the whitespace out there, and we’ll talk to you in the next one. Thanks, everybody.

Outro 49:17  

Thanks for joining us. To Become an insider and amplify your journey. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our show. If you have an idea for what Scott and Brian can cover in a future podcast or have a story to share, please email them at engage at inside sp.com You can also connect with them online by going to inside se.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request.

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