Blind spots can be the downfall of a business. You need to do everything possible to have a full view of the business you are in but that doesn’t mean doing everything by yourself.
You must take the time to leverage the collective intelligence, sitting within your business, to ensure you have a full picture of the different working parts.
By doing this, you are giving yourself the greatest opportunity to carve something meaningful and put together a robust plan to take you forward.
In this video, I give a fantastic example of how you can walk the four corners of your own business and some of the questions you might need to ask.
If you would like to hear more about this please feel free to get in touch below.
Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:
I personally love this Turner painting. For me, it signifies change, old being replaced with new. There is a development, there is a movement forward and I’m sure as a business owner, as a business leader you’re constantly thinking about what needs to happen in your business for it to move forward. What you need to design and how you need to plan.
Today I want to talk about one, very simple thing, which can help you design your plan in the most effective manner possible.
Firstly, questions are very important. The kind of questions you’re asking really determines the answers that you get. As an example, let’s look at Jack Welch, Head of General Electric. He used to believe in the power of questions.
What am I not seeing, that I should be seeing right now?
What is my best competitor doing, which I need to learn from?
What marginal gains do we need to get in different parts of the business, to have that significant coming together?
He would constantly reflect and think and really try to identify the growth opportunities.
In one instance, he was visiting his appliance manufacturing company and he ended up speaking to this guy who was working on a machine.
He asked him the same questions. All of these very strategic questions and he was very surprised that he got good insights. Real, practical, meaningful insights from this guy, who was actually at the bottom level of the factory if you think about it, in the whole hierarchical sense.
He was impressed and he thanked the guy profusely and this guy turns around and he said,
“For so many years you’ve been paying me for my hands but you could have got my brain for free. it’s just that you never asked for it.”
What I’m really trying to convey here is that, in your organisation, you have people working at different levels, in different parts. If you could do one thing, one simple thing before you really finalise your strategy or create your first draft plan, it is walking the four corners in your business.
Go and speak to people who are working in different parts of your organisation, whether it’s remote or physical, depending on what’s really viable, and as Intel CEO Andy Grove very famously said,
“The snow starts melting first on the edges.”
Reach out to the people who are farthest from your core head office operations. Talk to them, ask them these questions, listen to them very carefully with no judgments.
Once you have gone to all the corners and all the directions of your business, sit down and identify what plan you need to formulate to capture the growth opportunities in your marketplace.
I’ve always said this to our clients, and I keep reminding them, the two most dangerous elements in any business are ego and blind spots.
Make sure that you’re not putting the burden on yourself, alone, as the one who’s supposed to be planning for the organisation for the next year or the next quarter. Leverage the collective intelligence.
you might say, you don’t have much intelligence in your organization, then that’s a different problem we need to talk about. But if you are hiring in the right way then this should be possible.
When you ask your questions to multiple people, to different corners of the organization, ensure that you’re not leaving blind spots.
Keep your ear close to the ground, have your finger on the pulse and take the right decisions.
This will ensure the right planning is being put in place, so you can move ahead with speed and you can execute in the best possible manner. You can then get results the way you wish to get them.
I hope that helps you but remember these things are not easy fixes, they require commitment and they require discipline. You are not finished until you have a real, comprehensive sense of things.
I really hope you will take that approach because you know things always happen twice, once making the blueprint and then enacting that plan in reality.
I’ll be in touch with you again soon, with more practical tips and techniques.
If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.