What we see and do not see is a matter of our perspective.
How many pillars are there? The answer is seven.
Or, how many women can you see?
Most see pillars, only some immediately see beyond to the women.
This has me thinking about seeing what others don’t see.
This week I was at an event in London with a focus on both speakers and audience having a global perspective in their business, their careers, their outlook. These events are normally larger, but this time there was a smaller group, so more interactive.
What stood out for me most was that each person in the room had a different perspective, they could see what others could not see, based on their very varied types and levels of experience.
For me, as I listened to one speaker talk about how their business has rapidly developed in a burgeoning sector, they were focussed on the operational shifts and improvements they have made through new AI technologies and many other process and structural improvements.
I, however, got excited as I saw something else.
I saw that, through those years of improvement, within the mass of data they have gathered will sit numerous well-hidden assets at a strategic rather than operational level, assets that could create transformational leaps through paradigm shifts rather than marginal gains through continuous improvement. In short, as all of us can to some degree, I could see something they could not see.
So, in your leadership, your business, can you see the goldfish bowl you are swimming in? No, we cannot see things other than from our own perspective. See this recent post featuring a favourite speech “This Is Water”.
Knowing that we all have this gap in what we see and what we don’t see, what can you do about it? A few thoughts for now:
- Diversity of Thought. Be radical with this, go beyond simply ticking the boxes, ensure your business is built upon hiring, developing, promoting those from diverse backgrounds
- Build a Culture of Challenge. Beyond diversity, build a culture where challenging orthodoxy is not simply encouraged, but rewarded and even mandated
- Wisdom Insurance. The first two thoughts are both an ongoing journey and can take time to bear fruit. A quicker action with high ROI is to hire yourself a Sounding Board, someone with years of experience who you can sound out your ideas to, both to “sense check” them, but also to coach out from you what you may see if you look at things differently, as well as potentially bringing forth their own ideas for you to consider.
Yes, this last idea is a shameless plug for what I offer to clients. I make it as I simply love my work and have space at the time of writing for a few leaders in the UK and Internationally (remote and in-person) who would love to take a look at what they see, as well as what they don’t see.
For more, see my Services page, and you can also book a call with me to experience what it feels like to be heard and have an idea reflected back to you from a fresh perspective.
Book your 30-minute meeting here.
Also published on Medium.