Enterprising Management: Doing Deals

Comino reflected that those of us who drive cars often feel how silly it is to sit waiting for traffic lights to change when there is an obvious opportunity to slip across. This inclination to take a risk, to commit ourselves, and to be enterprising is what brings an organization to life. An original invention, serving an underlying need, located within a structured organization, nevertheless remains stillborn. It has yet to be sold.

Panel 13.6

You Can Do It!

In 1949 we granted an American steel company a manufacturing licence to make slotted angle. After two years the company had hardly sold any. There was no market for the product, they claimed. So Comino went over himself. “Take me round some factories,” he said to the Americans. As he went around he demonstrated how this and that could be made at half the price using Dexion angle. All the applications could be made at half the price using Dexion angle. All the applications one could imagine lay under their noses. Demetrius subsequently sent over a team of six salesmen from the UK and demonstrated how the Americans could do it. Cheeky. “You don't see what's in the product,” he said, “and I do.”

I started out as a southern region salesman twelve years ago. After a fortnight I'd had enough; that was until I went out on a call with Arnold Dyer. I became transformed. He brought the job alive. We went to see this plant engineer, bringing with us this sample of five foot high speedlock. We plonked ...

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