On 5/13/2022 I received an apology from Gordon Hogg for plagiarizing my work. For several years he lifted my exact words from my writings that explain my original thinking on sales, listening, questioning, and training in his own articles, website, posts, and client offerings. Below you’ll find Hogg’s apology to me and the sales community. Note: it does not contain his continued belief that any published content is freely available for anyone to copy.
I’m heartbroken. Not only did Hogg crib my original IP that I worked tirelessly over hours, years, decades to write, invent, and develop, but he misconstrued my innovative thinking, specifically my Buying Facilitation® model, to be used as a sales ploy rather than the change management, servant-leader front-end I intended.
I ask that Hogg’s readers visit www.sharon-drew.com where I explain and offer the original material with the accurate intention.
To the sales industry:
Many years ago, I came across a number of books and articles written by Sharon-Drew Morgen who is an original thinker and inventor of systemic brain change models that are often used in sales as Buying Facilitation®. Sharon-Drew has spent the past 40 years developing, inventing, writing, thinking, testing, and trialing, to create Buying Facilitation® and get it published into books, articles and delivered in corporations. I was fascinated by the sheer brilliance of how Sharon-Drew articulated, and developed, models to assist the buying process.
There is nothing like it in mainstream business. I have been involved in sales and marketing for as long as Sharon-Drew has been developing her material. I have always struggled with trying to explain why salespeople are so out of sync with how their buyers buy but could never find the right words to explain why sales merely tries to push their products rather than enter at the other end to first help people go through their decision process to become buyers. I found Sharon-Drew’s words and insights could help me convey the right message.
Unfortunately, while developing a message to salespeople, I plagiarized Sharon-Drew’s words, slogans and phrases directly from her articles, books, titles and neglected to attribute them to Sharon-Drew. And unfortunately, I misunderstood the true import of her original thinking and misappropriated her concepts as an improved way to get people to buy, totally overlooking the change focus (i.e. instead of buying focus) and the spiritual nature of Sharon-Drew’s intent, to truly serve people in making the decisions needed to actually become buyers.
This misunderstanding caused Sharon-Drew’s decades of work to also be misunderstood and misappropriated as I used her exact words with a different intent. As a small example, I misappropriated her terms buying patterns, helping buyers buy, steps in the buying journey, traversing the 13 steps of change, workarounds and stakeholders, selling doesn’t cause buying, the ‘cost’ of change, change management. While some of these words are words in common usage, in her writing Sharon-Drew defines them uniquely, in a narrow definition of how brains make decisions and I used them in service to selling solutions.
- I wrote blog posts using her words and ideas directly from her blogs (including words that she used to define her Buying Facilitation® thinking, and the new forms of question and training she invented), including titles from her already published articles.
- I have misinterpreted her words to explain the failure in sales processes rather than their original intention as a model to facilitate systemic change.
- I plagiarized words and phrases in her change facilitation material as a way to overcome deficiencies in sales model rather than their original intention of facilitating the steps of change which Sharon-Drew has laid out so sellers can lead people through them before trying to sell.
I now wish to make clear that the goal of what Sharon-Drew has pioneered for decades as an original thinker and servant leader has been to truly (and singularly) facilitate change; when used with sales, a purchase might result as an output; when used in generic coaching and leading, a congruent, permanent decision results.
Plagiarizing any of her work without any attribution to get the attention of salespeople was wrong and for that I apologize. Sharon-Drew deserves to be properly credited. The writing, the developing, the inventing of the material I plagiarized has been Sharon-Drew’s life’s work. She often spends 50 hours writing the articles that I so carelessly plagiarized.
Sharon-Drew has invented additional brain-based models from which I also plagiarized:
- Learning facilitation: a new form of training that uses brain function. I plagiarized some of her writing and thinking when I mentioned how I would train salespeople.
- Facilitative Questions: a unique form of question that enables others to find their own answers and excludes information gathering. These are used in Buying Facilitation® to lead people through their change steps. I not only plagiarized her words used when explaining these, but I offered this new skill set in the form of Enabling Questions.
- The 13 steps of change: the stages everyone must go through before becoming buyers. I plagiarized some of her steps in both articles, posts, in illustrations as a tool to help sellers position sales pitches, rather than the brain change steps that facilitate good decisions.
While my site claimed to offer clients a ‘new form of training’ and a ‘new form of question’, those were taken directly from Sharon-Drew’s inventions. I will no longer be offering services re any of the original material Sharon-Drew has invented.
I also had a 73 page sample assessment on how buyers buy that plagiarized many of Sharon-Drew’s words and ideas directly from her books and articles.
I apologize for plagiarizing and misrepresenting her work. As I did this over the course of years, I hope the people who have read my articles will go back to Sharon-Drew’s work on www.sharon-drew.com and read the ideas as they were intended. Sharon-Drew’s concepts on helping buyers buy and Buying Facilitation® are wholly original and needed in the sales industry.
I am truly sorry, Sharon-Drew.
Sharon-Drew Morgen is a breakthrough innovator and original thinker, having developed new paradigms in sales (inventor Buying Facilitation®, listening/communication (What? Did you really say what I think I heard?), change management (The How of Change™), coaching, and leadership. She is the author of several books, including the NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell). Sharon-Drew coaches and consults with companies seeking out of the box remedies for congruent, servant-leader-based change in leadership, healthcare, and sales. Her award-winning blog carries original articles with new thinking, weekly. www.sharon-drew.com She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.