Dr Monique Beedles highlights the importance of having a clear vision for your business, while challenging you to view your situation through the eyes of a child to get a better grasp on what might actually be possible.
I recently had my ‘colours’ done by a fashion stylist. It's an interesting exercise that helps you to determine which colours suit you best when it comes to clothing and accessories. By the end of the process, I had a well defined palette of colours to choose from.
As part of this process, I also catalogued my wardrobe. I was pleased to find that most of the clothes I already owned fitted within the preferred colour scheme. Intuitively, I had a sense of what suited me and what didn't. There are some colours I like better than others, and there is a good reason for it.
However, there were a few items in my wardrobe that clearly stood out as being the wrong shades. With my new-found knowledge I was happy to cull them immediately, regardless of how long I may have had them or how much I might have paid for them. I was happy to send a pile of good clothes to the charity bin so that someone else would have use of them.
What was really powerful about the colour matching process was that it also let me know which colours to avoid. I can now walk into a clothing store and immediately dismiss anything that's khaki, gold or brown. I can confidently buy black and white without fear that it's 'boring', instead knowing that it flatters my features. Having a clear vision of what will work makes the decision-making process so much easier.
Dr Monique Beedles
It's the same when you define the vision for your business. It's easy to think that it's something airy fairy and many people are inclined to believe that having a vision is a waste of time. But how much time do we waste trying on clothes that will never suit us, buying outfits that we'll never wear?
Having a clear vision makes all the day-to-day decisions much easier. To work, the vision must be well defined and meaningful. If you have a vision that isn't working, it may need to be more clearly defined. If you're caught up in all the day-to-day decision making without seeming to have time to think ahead, actually stepping back and clarifying your vision may be the first step you need to take to get things back on track.
Business strategy is often framed as something strictly rational and planned. However, imagining alternative futures is a creative process that may not come together in a strictly rational way. Instead, to imagine creative possibilities we need to allow our minds to work holistically, we need to let the different parts of our brains connect in surprising ways.
Generating this type of creativity means taking a step back and perhaps focusing on something else altogether. It's when we're out for a walk, in the bath, or in that hazy time between waking and sleeping that the best ideas can happen.
In business, we sometimes try to force a rational approach to making critical decisions, when instead a better approach may be to take some deliberate time out, or to focus on an issue from a different perspective.
I have a young nephew and when he was about three he was out in the backyard with his dad one night, admiring the magnificent full moon.
"Daddy, let's fly to the moon!" he exclaimed.
His Dad chuckled to himself and said, in a very sensible, adult tone, "We can't fly to the moon, because we don't have a rocket ship."
"That's no problem, Daddy," my nephew replied. "We'll go to the shop and buy a rocket ship, and then we can fly to the moon!"
It's hard to escape the enthusiasm of a child who sees everything as possible and nothing as impossible. As adults we limit our thinking by imposing barriers on ourselves as part of what we believe to be sensible behaviour.
Challenge yourself to re-think your situation through the eyes of a child, to consider what might be possible if you weren't a sensible, rational-seeming adult. How might you do things differently if anything were truly was possible?
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