We all know that factories produce widgets. Or cans of fizzy soft drink, cars, smartphones and television sets, but what do professional organisations produce? If you show a car in a car showroom, you can get people to buy the vehicle; but what is the show room for the professional product?
If you ask the company they will tell you they produce solutions. But solutions tend to be invisible. They’re the lack of something; if you hold a solution up to the light, it’s usually colourless liquid.
It’s sometimes helpful to think of professional organisations as producing narrative. Either deliberately (PR agencies) or, as a by product of solving their client’s headaches. So if you’re, say a law firm, management consultancy, housing association or medical practice, these narratives can be stories of how various solutions came into being. The good news is they are usually very interesting stories. The bad news is that you have to work quite hard at retrieving them.