There's a popular genre of business book that imagines how history's characters might have tackled today's business problems.

The Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan was very popular. Machiavelli's thoughts on storage would make very interesting reading I'm sure. And Sun Tzu's Art of War could have been written about Steve Lockie, the legendary Computer 2000 boss.

My personal favourite is What Would Churchill Do by Stuart Finlay, a sales director at Thus because it seemed less like a cynical commercial product and more like a labour of love. I can't see Churchill boring the pants off everyone with a 96 page Powerpoint presentation about adding value to the channel.

One distribution MD takes his inspiration from Brian Clough. Whenever life becomes difficult, he asks himself: what would Cloughie do? The answer is always the same: drink heavily.

That's not advice to be poo poohed. There's a reason why so many people in the IT channel hit the bottle and it is this. The IT channel is not about technology at all, it's about people. 

People in the channel don't have drinking problems. They have drinking solutions.

That's why all the best deals are done in the bars of the exhibition, while the activity on the exhibition stands seems to be limited to swapping stress balls and boiled sweets.

Until the people issues are resolved, no deals are ever done. 

Cloud Computing, though based on sound accounting logic, is still hostage to a nameless fear. John Coster, the man whose data centre innovation in Puerto Rico saved Microsoft four billion dollars, refers to the objectors to cloud computing as server huggers.

Surely, a more understanding approach is needed.

I wonder what Churchill would do? 

This was first published in November 2010

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