The power of the network explored at Ingenuity breakfast event – 19th July


SONY DSCOur latest Ingenuity breakfast event attracted a full house of interested delegates for our speakers Adam Harris, Director of Fresh Mindset and Paul Kirkham, a researcher at Nottingham University Business School. Our theme this time was Sales and Networking – an ever-relevant topic for all businesses, whether large or small.

Adam spoke first on referrals by analogising the 6 degrees of separation – which is actually now 4.2 degrees of separation – because when it comes to referrals, ‘It’s not what you know but who you know and most importantly who they know’. He put us through our paces with a partnered counting exercise to wake us all up and then went on to outline his approach to referrals. This included the five fears and the five benefits of referrals as well as the killer intro which needs to be between 6 and 9 words – ‘What would you say to Richard Branson if you bumped into him in a lift?’

Lastly, Adam spoke about keeping people at the top of your mind to keep those relationships fresh. He mentioned Crystal Knows as a tool that can help with this. It is a software programme which, by using algorithms sent out across the internet, can analyse your language and the language of your referral connections. Utilising this data, it can help you understand how best to communicate with your contacts successfully.

IMG_4406Our second speaker, Paul, elaborated on the theory behind the elevator pitch and the power of informal networks. He particularly highlighted the power of networks that do not necessarily recognise themselves as such. To cite an example of this, Paul explained how Great Ormond Street Hospital formed a connection with Ferrari. A surgeon watching a pit stop during a Formula 1 race realised that there were many similarities between the pit stop team and a group of surgeons working in theatre. In sharing their experiences with the Ferrari team, the surgeons were able to cut down their handover errors and save more lives.

Feedback from our delegates was excellent, with comments including:

“Useful and informative – as always!”

“It was my first time at an Ingenuity event and I really enjoyed the friendly environment.”

“The delivery was excellent.”

Following Adam and Paul’s presentations we opened up the floor for our ‘Shop Window’ – an opportunity to pitch an idea, offer or request to the audience. Two pitches were put forward:


  • Dr Gianluca Sergi outlined a series of three free Video Marketing workshops that will take place in September. The workshops will allow business owners who are thinking about investing in video marketing to create and refine a creative brief.
  • The second pitch was by our very own Steve Upcraft, who spoke about the Enabling Innovation programme – a collaboration between The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Derby. EU funding has been secured to enable businesses to benefit from academic and student expertise from across the three universities to help them to innovate.

We will be taking a break for the summer, so our next Ingenuity breakfast event will be on Tuesday 27th September when Ingenuity favourite Chris Barnatt will take us on a trip into the future.