Overcoming Blind Spots for Business Growth – Part Three

Scuba diver exploring the underwater caverns.
Overcoming Blind Spots for Business Growth– Part Two
May 21, 2018
Healthy trail running
Overcoming Blind Spots for Business Growth– Part Four
May 23, 2018
Neighborhood flooded. Sign warns of high water.

Neighborhood flooded. Sign warns of high water.

We’ve been discussing blind spots in this space lately and the first type of blind spot I’ve been addressing has been the type that we don’t know about. They can really blindside us. Today I’d like to take a look at another type of blind spot and this one relates to the fact that we know something’s wrong and we don’t have a clue how to fix it.

These days, when you engage in a conversation with others about the “sense” that we have entered into a time of disruption, most people will not dispute this starting point. It is not unusual for people to start to speak about economic disruption, then turn quickly to social or environmental or geo-political disruption. We are living through a historic period of disruption: something is ending while something brand new is emerging.

Some of the business-related issues that this covers prompt statements like:

“We’re doing everything possible and we’re not making any money.”

“My people are just not motivated to dig in.”

“The client’s freaking out all the time about price and we don’t know why.”

In all of these situations, people are feeling more fear than they’ve ever felt before, and they don’t know why, or what to do about it.

Being overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty, i.e. VUCA, is the new norm. In this new norm there exists both threat and opportunity. If you choose to frame this new norm as a threat, it is likely that you will keep doing what you have always done in the past, only harder, faster and louder. This is not likely to create the results you are seeking. If you choose to frame this new norm as an opportunity to move you and your business to the next level, we believe that you can create a sustained competitive advantage for the rest of your life. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, you can’t solve a problem at the same level that it was created. You have to elevate your thinking, being, and doing.

The biggest blind spot for people is behaviour.

For instance, why do people do what they do? Why do they say one thing and do another? Unravelling these types of blind spot doesn’t have to be scary if you have the right frame of reference and tools. In fact, for most people, it is exhilarating.

Life in the real world of business was always complex. It was always affected by many different factors and influences. That is why, in the past, so much effort was placed on designing “best practice” approaches to strategy, structure, process and rewards systems. They limited people from veering off on tangents when they got distracted. Remember that it wasn’t too long ago that leaders and managers were taught to stick with the rational and leave the emotional at home where it belongs.

Emotions = complex = out of control.

The objective with “best practices” was to achieve desired results, on plan. Control was the only way to accomplish this, and because you can’t control emotions and complexity, you build structure, process and rewards. You lever technology to contain and direct the same effort, every time, regardless of whatever else is happening in people’s lives. VUCA be damned.

But does that work? I’ll have more to say about that in my next blog.

In the meantime, if you’d like to find out how Light-Core can support your organization to unprecedented returns in the months and years ahead, we invite you to get in touch.

We excel at helping businesses navigate change in this digital world.

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