The dictionary defines a blind spot as an area or a subject about which one is uninformed, prejudiced, or unappreciative; an area where signals are weak and reception is poor.
Have you ever tried to change lanes only to hear the loud blaring of a horn? When you move back into your lane, you realize that another vehicle was in your blind spot. Not only did you have NO idea they were there, your lack of awareness almost cost you and the other driver dearly, and most certainly scared everyone half to-death. Everyone around you could see what was happening but you. If you had seen the car in the other lane, wouldn’t you have made a different choice?
Often my clients find the same is true in business. Valuable information lies within the blind spot. When a company or a leader has the courage or foresight to discover what is in the blind spot, they are rewarded with information for enhanced decision making. As we all know information is power.
My clients have different reactions to exploring their blind spot. It can be threatening, exhilarating, comforting, puzzling and so on, but no matter how you slice it, discovering what exists within your blind spot will be rewarding if you have the courage to look. Our clients have discovered many different things that allowed them to improve their business.
Discoveries have included: a) an owner who had no idea his right hand person had a particular skill set in a different area than that which they were originally tasked. If focused in the new area, they could generate efficiency and savings for the company and the employee would be much happier; b) the company that was known for subpar work in one of the key areas of service but exceptional in another; c) the business website was hard to navigate and resulted in lost business; d) and the non-profit organization whose marketing message was not resonating with the target audience.
The best thing about discovering what is in your blind spot is that once you know what is there you can do something about it. Take the restaurateur who spends his life savings building the eatery of his dreams. Everything is perfect except one thing: the food. In the end he goes out of business because no one told him there was a problem. He thought all was well. When he asked customers about the food, they told him it was good. They lied! They lied probably to protect his feelings because he was so hospitable. In the end, his blind spot killed his business and his dream.
Although he asked the right question, he didn’t allow people to give him the information in a way that was safe for them to be honest and tell him what he needed to know. There are many ways to explore your own blind spot. Begin with asking the right questions of the right people in a way that makes it possible for them to be honest with you. There are so many great and easy ways to do that now. We help people to utilize on-line surveys, suggestions boxes, social media, focus groups, polling, 360 assessments, other consultants and to look at what your competiton is doing.
Whatever resides in your business blind spot, I can assure you that it is an opportunity to create operating efficiencies, better work environments, improve profitability and build an overall more prosperous and sustainable organization! What is in your blind spot?