Standing right in the middle of the convention entry door, index finger pointed directly at my chest, the business owner looked me straight in the eye and told me my ideas on how to manage business growth were rubbish. I had just given a 40 minute talk to room of 250-300 owners of small to medium sized businesses.
That was my first introduction to Bernie. I found out later that Bernie had been running a small manufacturing business on the west end of Boise, Idaho for over 18 years.
Needless to say, I was totally unprepared for such a response. After successfully speaking to business audiences for over 25 years, I had come to expect nothing but praise and appreciation for my ideas and experiences concerning managing business growth. Now, I was being confronted by a badger with fangs showing and eyes bulging from uncontrolled anger.
I quickly shook off his tirade, composed myself and then politely asked him why he felt that way. He proceeded to tell me that his business was too complicated already. He had 23 employees constantly needing his attention. He spent 12 hours a day just trying to keep up with all the details confronting him from all directions. As he caught his breath, he continued by insisting that adding anything else to his plate under the guise that it would simplify or improve his business was a total waste of his time.
Bernie then abruptly turned around and walked away frustrated, confused, and generally not a happy fellow.
Standing there in the exhaust of Bernie’s displeasure brought one thought to my mind: compassion.
I looked at Bernie’s back fading from my view and remembered just how hard running a business can be at times. I also remembered that the origin of all of our challenges and frustrations is one thing…us. How we see our business and think about our business determines the experience we have with our business. It is a tough realization but a necessary one.
People who respond to things being too confusing or complicated are often challenged by their own scattered thinking. The irony is that it is the scattered thinking that causes their chaos.
Organized, disciplined, highly successful CEOs will first look at new ideas about managing business growth and decipher what is being shared with them. They will not be confused by it but rather will determine if it is the right information for them.
The business modeling, critical thinking process should be a disciplined exercise at breaking down and identifying all the forces contributing to the confusion in their business and organizing them in such a way that their world holds a greater degree of clarity for predicting what is coming around the corner, understanding when and where they need to adapt and getting a line of sight determination of what needs to be focused on now in order to bring their company to a higher level of performance.
Businesses are complex organisms with many interlocking layers. It is my belief that our mission at The ReWild Group is to be vigilant in facing and probing this complexity by developing methods, tools and products that allow someone to not only simplify their view of their business or massage their thinking but also help them decipher their complex view of how they think about their enterprise.
We are in the business of revealing the origin of what is causing their challenges and how they might originate and unleash new forces in their business to create a more advancing outcome.
In short, our clients are people who have varying degrees of scattered thinking which is causing their chaos and motivates them to want a greater degree of clarity. That is why they are intrigued with us. They want a deeper understanding of what is going on in their business then what they can see on their own.
What about you?
How has scattered thinking impacted your own organization or team? Let me know in the comments below! Or, take this quick assessment to identify the challenges your business is or will likely be facing.