Perspective – exploration and curiosity

When I think about Perspective I am drawn to the delightful world of exploration and curiosity.  It is a world filled not with what I know but what I don’t know.  Where most business leaders are in search for certainty, I am an unusual consultant because I don’t come promising answers to solve their problems.  Instead, I urge them to reject what they think they know and instead invite them into a world of ignorance.  What we don’t know is much more powerful in disrupting a business than solving known problems.

 

I understand that to ask a business leader to talk about what they don’t know, they don’t know is… a little mind exploding.  How can you discuss something that you don’t know you don’t know – because if you knew what it was then you know it…. Arrggh.

 

But bear with me.

 

Discussion versus Dialogue

We have all experienced discussion in business. It happens every day in organisations.  A meeting is called.  Individuals come together and share what they know with others.  If someone is certain that they know best, they will make every effort to persuade everyone else that they know best.

 

Dialogue is different.  In dialogue we pursue what we don’t know, in search of the question that leaves us wondering what the answer is.  Rather than trying to prove that our perspective is the one true answer we share perspectives and explore them.  Tell me more… rather than shut it down.

 

It is quite liberating when you are free to explore your thinking without having to prove that your perspective is right.  In fact, being in a place where we are happy to explore the possibility that we might actually be wrong… and that is okay.

 

Sharing a perspective

I love questions.  I love that moment when a question gets asked, and there isn’t an answer.  That moment when an experienced business leader, sits back in their chair and takes a deep breath before saying “that’s…. a good question” – they might hesitate, or they might be brave enough to say; “I don’t know…”. It doesn’t matter.  I know I have got them.  Suddenly their certainty and belief that they KNOW is gone and a world of exploring, curiosity and new possibilities opens up.

 

At that point, they have the question that will help them to navigate the future.  Once a business leader accepts that they don’t have all the answers, then they are truly empowered to be able to deal with the disruption that is inevitable.

 

My perspective – question everything, be curious, wonder out loud and embrace ignorance.  Because if there is one thing you can be certain of it is this.

 

Nothing is certain.

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