GST focuses on disruption and resilience

18th December 2018 |   Nick de Cent

Consalia graduates and keynote speakers came together to discuss strategies to thrive in today’s disruptive business environment.

Multiple medal winners

Multiple medal winners: Royal Engineers Captain Jennifer Kehoe (left) and Menna Fitzpatrick. © Nick de Cent

As the business environment becomes ever more uncertain, with constantly accelerating change and increasing market disruption, both organisations and individuals need to become more resilient.

But what kind of toll does this disruption take and how can we become more resilient? These were some of the themes explored during this year’s Global Sales Transformation event at the London Stock Exchange on 4 October. “Where Resilience Meets Disruption” saw an eclectic mix of speakers explore the topic from a variety of different angles.

Resilient role models

Two Paralympic skiers, Menna Fitzpatrick, who has only 5% vision, and her sighted guide Royal Engineers Captain Jennifer Kehoe, provided an inspiring foundation with their early keynote session “Our story – Collaboration, resilience and deliberate practice”. The pair, who won gold, two silvers and a bronze medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics plus a host of others at the World Cup and World Championships outlined what it takes to compete at this level, the resilience required (from both of them) to overcome setbacks, and the team work and communication needed to succeed.

Dr Mobasher Butt

Babylon CMO Dr Mobasher Butt: how to anticipate and manage physical and mental wellbeing. © Nick de Cent

A further keynote session saw Dr Mobasher Butt, Chief Medical Officer of online consultation service Babylon discuss how AI can be used to anticipate and manage physical and mental wellbeing. He offered invaluable insight as a senior leader of an organisation disrupting the healthcare sector while also being deeply concerned with individuals’ health. Later, Dr Simon Harrison from global engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald described how his company was able to transform its sales outcomes without the benefit of a traditional sales organisation.

Masters programme graduates

Past, current and future Consalia Masters students, along with B2B Sales Degree Apprentices, were well represented as audience participants and on the main stage. Sarah Edge, who graduated in 2017 and is now General Manager UK of HMD Global, spoke about the challenges and successes in her new role relaunching Nokia-branded phones. Mick Fowler, Group Sales Manager of the Arena Group), discussed creating a sales control system to align the interests of the individual salesperson with the company. Meanwhile, Carl Day, Sales Director AP/MFP Products, Toshiba TEC and Monic Van Aarle, Sales Director, SAP, joined the discussion panel on mental wellbeing, alongside Dr Butt and Andy Hough from the Association of Professional Sales.

Royal Mail apprentices

Royal Mail apprentices Stacey Firn and Catherine Arnold with National Sales Director Mike Gibson. © Nick de Cent

The future of sales

The audience was treated to a view of the future of sales when apprentices Stacey Firn and Catherine Arnold joined National Sales Director Mike Gibson in answering questions about how the Royal Mail’s pioneering sales apprenticeship programme is progressing. Both were enthusiastic about the possibilities that have opened up, not least that they are able to pursue their qualification while they are being paid to be on the job. Moreover, the apprenticeship programme is offering participants enhanced credibility within the organisation: apprentices even attend board meetings to bring a fresh perspective.

Gibson sees major benefits for Royal Mail in terms of changing mindsets and disrupting the thinking and processes in a positive way. He told the Journal: “The energy is incredibly positive.”


Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.