It’s funny how complacent we can become over time. I recently went to the eye doctor because I had begun to experience blurred vision when reading for extended periods of time. Since my whole family wears glasses, I’ve always been surprised that I didn’t need them, and a little prideful too I suppose… until now.
Humbled: I Can See For Miles and Miles
At the end of my eye exam the doctor said: “OK. Where do I start? You’re cross eyed, you’re nearsighted, you have astigmatism in both eyes, etc. etc. He rattled of a half dozen medical terms that all basically pointed to me needing corrective lenses ASAP. What’s funny is that the only problem I was aware of was that after reading for about 15 minutes, things started to get a little blurry. I had no idea what else I had going on. Now that the doctor has applied his expertise and prescribed me glasses, it’s amazing the things I’m seeing that I hadn’t seen before. What an improvement!
We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
The business world can be like that. Sometimes we get in this mode where we are just plugging away, heads down, grinding out widgets just like yesterday and the day before that. In other words, we often don’t know what we don’t know, because we have become comfortable and complacent. We have a tendency to get used to “business as usual” and give little thought to what could be. When we finally notice a problem, it typically has to be pretty bad before we will take action. Unless it keeps us from doing business as usual, we will do nothing about it. Change is the last thing most of us are thinking about, because change = risk and risk is uncomfortable because it means potential losses and in business and we are all about the gains and the sure things, not potential losses and risk.
Helping Customers See With New Eyes
- Reduce the discomfort of change by walking them through it.
- Help them weigh the needs, the consequences; figure out the full range and scope of the issue.
- Help them sort through all the internal issues that have contributed to it.
- Guide them to arrive at their own answers about if and how this change should get addressed.
- Figure out who needs to get involved, how do they benefit, how do they win.
- Determine how they will measure success, and what exactly is possible.
- Outline a process that they might use to replicate success again and again in other projects.
If we stop selling to them and help them know what they don’t know, we can help them conceive of the excellence that they could achieve if they could see with new eyes.
Photo Credit: Thank you Regi Casner!