Seeing Opaque Things More Clearly: Avoiding Business Blindspots

illustration chain of people with blindfoldsWith a husband who is legally blind, it’s perhaps not surprising that my attention is often drawn to metaphors that deal with vision.

For example, some say that hindsight is 20/20 vision; others say that there are none so blind as those who will not see. Seeing is believing, especially if that person comes from the ‘Show Me State’ of Missouri. You’ve probably heard about people who dwell in the past and drive looking in their rearview mirrors or those who hurry too fast and tend to outdrive their headlights. As I see it, all these sayings also apply to the business world and to thought leaders.

A good friend of mine, Ben Gilad, has a thriving strategic consultancy based on his book Business Blindspots, which outlines an effective strategic early-warning process model. Blindspots refer to those gaps in business knowledge that we just don’t see, that can blindside us as we adapt to a dynamic environment. Sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know … we’re unable or, even worse, we’re unwilling to see what is clear to others, particularly our competitors.

Blindspots refer to those gaps in business knowledge that we just don’t see, that can blindside us as we adapt to a dynamic environment.
That type of business blindness can have far-reaching negative consequences for a thought leader, a company or an industry. One simple solution is to keep your eyes wide open, constantly scanning the competitive horizon for signals that might easily be overlooked.

Are you wearing metaphorical business blinders that just keep you focused in one forward direction? Are you eyeing all of the competitive opportunities available to you as a thought leader and then taking full advantage of them or do you have business blindspots? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

Illustration credit: via Flickr

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Sharing the Know-How to Know How

When explaining complex topics, thought leaders make a clear distinction between two key terms: ”knowledge of” and ”knowledge how.”

Let’s say, for example, that you want to shape your industry to be more agile and responsive to changing demands of the economy. You shouldn’t only show colleagues what that future will look like so that they have ”knowledge of” that vision. It’s important also to show them the way to reach that goal — to give them ”knowledge how” to get there.

to define and articulate change, use knowledge of and knowledge howSimilarly, if you want to change the culture of your organization, it’s important not only to give them ”knowledge of” what the changes look like and the advantages the new culture will bring. You must impart to them ”knowledge how.” Articulate clearly the steps each employee — no matter where in the organization they sit — will need to take to move toward the defined future.

Cultural change is a journey, not a destination. Employees need ”knowledge of” the destination and ”knowledge how” to navigate the path ahead.

Do you need help defining and articulating the roadmap to change internally or externally? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

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