We have a technique we use when teaching project management where we have the trainees repeat after us the spelling of a specific word, and we have them do it three, four, five, seven… as many times as we think we need for it to set in their minds, and then we quickly ask them to blurt out the first answer they think of when they hear the question. Out of over 200 classes it has only ever failed to work twice.
The word we have them spell out loud is ‘Milk.’ M-i-l-k. M-i-l-k. M-i-l-k. One more time for emphasis, M-i-l-k.
The question we ask them is this: “What do cows drink?”
The answer we get is always ‘Milk, M-i-l-k.’ The correct answer, as everyone knows, however, is ‘water.’ Cows drink water and give milk.
Now I’m sure as you read that through in your mind you must have been tempted to answer milk too, so you get the idea. The point I’m getting at here is if in a spanse of 13 words I can even temporarily convince your mind that cows drink milk and give water, then imagine what month after month of hearing the same things, seeing the same things, and doing the same things will do to your thinking?
If there wasn’t a ‘box’ around your thinking before, there certainly would be by that point, and I think we can all agree on that as a given.
So what happens when an issue comes up and your thinking is already formatted? Do you naturally come to open-minded solutions or do you need an open-minded partner to step in and open up dialogues that can direct you to new solutions you wouldn’t have ordinarily thought of on your own?
More Tools Than Just Hammers
That’s the problem with most leadership organizations. As my wife puts it, ‘For every Hammer, before long everything it sees looks like a nail.’ But that’s rarely the case and so they mash their way through situation after situation and before long their solutions tend to do more harm than good. That’s when you need to call in a Master Craftsperson who knows how to use the whole toolbox and also knows about some new and upcoming tools that can do things a hammer could never dream of doing on their own. This frees the hammer up to do what hammers do best where hammers do it best, and everybody starts to shine again in their respective roles.
Competitive Intelligence Specialists are those rare Master Craftspersons who can take the top off of a problem, look at it from what may appear to be a radically novel way of looking at the issues, and then transform the problems into solutions that often solve other issues you didn’t even know you had.
Reyactive is North America’s premiere Applied Competitive Intelligence Agency with more than 29 years of experience transforming global, regional, organizational, and individual situations into opportunities for excellence and greatness. We only ever have a maximum of 6-8 transformational clients worldwide at any given time so we can focus on their needs and deliver our best work with the level of attention needed to research, identify, consult, coach, and manage our clients’ issues to success.
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