I have had some curious meetings the last couple of days. They have had all one thing in common. We hardly spoke about what I wanted to speak but about quite a few other subjects. For a structured mind (I am clearly not) this might be disturbing. It was also to a certain extend to me I have to admit. An example might be my last meeting. I wanted to talk about 2 projects, which could be very important for us with a partner, and yet a 3rd one on which I was informed on my way. When I mentioned the name of the customer (3rd project) my counterpart started to tell me a very interesting story, which had absolutely nothing to do with the one I had in mind. Yet I was very happy with the meeting since I gained a new insight into that customer and actually it might help me to position our offering even better.
Surely it is not always what is planned but on the other side I was able to gain insight, which will help me improve my business performance. Yet again it is all based on trust and the type of relationship built with the counterparts.
If you add to this different cultures and different type of communications it can become quite curious. I am very strong defender of face-to-face meetings even though we use Video Conferencing, but still like to see the person I talk to. Makes really a huge difference. Typically people you talk to over the phone are chatting / emailing while they talk to you and they refrain from doing that whilst on video ;). Lately I have worked a quite a bit with people from Israel, Spain, UK and US on the same project. The lead is by the team in Israel and I (Spain) am mainly just supporting. The teams in the US & UK are part of the delivery team which is a key success factor. It was really funny to see how I have been pinged several times by the 2 teams separately just in order to see what my take on the other side was. The important thing after all is that we are all pulling in the same direction and I think we have been able to achieve that.