Do this next time you’re stuck
I heard a story recently about a mysterious sound reported by the Swedish navy in the early 80’s. The sound occurred frequently in the waters along their coastlines and the military set out to determine what sort of threat might be behind it. They suspected submarines and literally dropped bombs into the water to destroy this mystery threat.
Nothing worked. For more than a decade.
In the end, after biologists were enlisted to join the military investigation, the sound was found to be fish flatulence.
What does this have to do with your business? In the same way that the military immediately believed this unusual sound to be a threat and focused on very specific causes – and the biologists had a completely different focus – you are prone to see the obstacles and opportunities in front of you through a very specific lens.
The paradigm through which you see the world, your business, and every day problems can be so entrenched that it is invisible to you. Instead of seeing all the possible solutions to a problem, you focus on a tiny subset. We all do.
This is why you need people in your network from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. People you can ask, “hey, what do you think about this?” People who will offer you the most remarkable and unexpected solutions, not because they are smarter than you, but because they see the world differently.
The next time you are struggling with a challenge you just can’t seem to overcome, ask for input from someone who lives far away, works in a different industry, or who has a radically different background.
You might be surprised at how they are able to highlight possibilities you simply couldn’t see on your own.