Perhaps the most powerful sense we have in business is our ability to see. By observing our products in action, our customer’s habits, and our supply chain and vender’s facilities we get a huge breadth and depth of information. Arguably, seeing how your business works provides you with the most control over how you interpret the information you are presented with.
Yet how many of us spend the majority of our days holed up in our offices, sitting in meetings, and waiting around in conference rooms? Even when were active we’re probably running to catch the right train or hurrying to get home by a certain time.
You can always monitor interactions and relationships from your office in part, but how can you expand your view of business opportunities? Can you really make good decisions when you rarely see your customers shop for and experience your product or service? Can you generate “out-of-the-box” growth opportunities when most of your time is spent “inside your box?”
Is your world view unnecessarily limited because you are not seeing the world? It is so easy for us — from entrepreneurs to corporate executives to professional service people — to fall into this routine. And it can be stifling your organization.
Designers and other creatives understand this more than anyone. Indeed, the very best creative people “see everything” and are constantly looking at everything. They know that through their eyes will come their next big idea or inspiration. They have a sense that the more they see and the broader they see, the more they can inspiration they can tap into for future projects.
Managers, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals need to adopt this mindset to be effective and innovative in today’s environment. You need to see more. You need to look wider. And you need to look deeper. Your sense of sight will transform you, your organization, and, perhaps, your industry. If you remain planted in your Aeron chair (itself a product created by several very talented leaders who used their observations to create an innovative seat for the modern worker) you will never be able to grow, learn, or change.
This week do yourself and your organization a favor. Step out of the office. Go someplace you haven’t been. Go see your customers or products in action. Go observe something new and really consider it. Keep those observations in the front or back of your mind. Do it the following week and see how it changes the way you lead.
Picture cred: Andrestand