Are Off Course 98% of the Time?
Did you know that an airplane flying from New York to LA is off course 98% of the time?
Just as a driver is always moving the steering wheel to keep the car pointed in the right direction, the pilot is constantly adjusting based on the information he’s taking in — from the instruments, from the crew, from air traffic control, from every source he recognizes as relevant and valuable.
Wise individuals and great companies do the same thing. We get to our goals by constantly adjusting. Yet, for some reason, we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that we or the organizations we work with have control over the forces outside and around us. It’s just not so.
We can manage what’s within our power to manage. But more importantly, we can adjust, innovate, and grow if we if we find the relevant and valuable information about the rest.
How Do You Find Relevant and Valuable Information?
Individuals and organizations that are growing are curious and information hungry. We are personally involved in work and business, but we don’t take information personally. We work through an information gathering process again and again in a spiraling, overlapping, scaffolded fashion. We use the latest listening tools, but even more we use our ears, eyes, hearts, and minds to decipher what is relevant and valuable to their goals.
- Listen actively. It’s so powerful to set aside filters that would have us hear only what supports our current world view. Looking for other perspectives, other voices, different, radical, outrageous ideas offers a diverse pool from which to choose and challenges our assumptions.
- Test what you hear. We ask folks who are talking about what they’re saying to confirm that the message we received is clear. Then we ask other folks if that message makes sense in their lives too.
- Adjust and adapt to the new information. We steer. Steering isn’t all controlling. It’s altering our world view to include what we have just learned.
- Share. We make sure that the right folks know. We tell other people. Organizations tell customers, employees, shareholders, prospects, and key stakeholders.
Sounds a little like panning for gold — with each pan we use a finer sifter. With each pan we get closer to what we want to know.
While you’re listening, consider and reconsider what you’re listen for.
How do you find relevant and valuable information?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!