We all want to find success and continuous gains in the businesses we run. With proper strategic planning and execution, the matter becomes a question of when and not if it will happen. There are times however when the realization of such goals does not materialize despite preparation and skillful implementation. It hurts to admit it, but there could be some key details that we failed to consider. What is worse is if we persist in continuing towards the same, costly trajectory.
Inspired Leaders! Speaker Series
This past October 18, I attended the inaugural event at John Carroll University. It was organized by Boler College of Business through the Donnelly School of Leadership and Social Innovation. The speaker was Diana Kander, author of the New York Times bestseller “All in Startup” as well as “The Curiosity Muscle”. She delivered an insightful and thought-provoking talk on how to achieve your BHAG (big hairy audacious goals). I found it quite inspirational and would like to share some details about this enriching event.
The Ultimate Competitive Advantage
Diana’s talk centered on how maintaining a curious outlook can help you accomplish your goals. This is essentially what helps companies and individuals succeed and continue to thrive. In her book The Curiosity Muscle, she stated that:
“Curiosity is like a muscle, if you ignore it, it will atrophy, but if you properly develop it, it will grow stronger and help you achieve extraordinary results.”
Consistently having an attitude of curiosity instead of insisting on our own limited perspective can lead to exponential gains. It does of course sting a little to admit to ourselves that our views can eventually become restricting. This “expert trap” as Diana would call it is precisely what we should be aware of and persistently seek to avoid. Her talk provided some tips on how to do it. Here are some of them that you might find useful:
- Be aware of your blind spots by creating a process to find them
- Have pivot indicators that let you know when something is not working
- Create accountability
- Stay out of your comfort zone
- Identify people who have accomplished what you are aiming for and seek their guidance or counsel
I came away from this talk with a better appreciation of how curiosity can become a great, if not the greatest asset for any business. It came at an opportune time as my company, MG Shlachter, is scaling up and going through its own pivot. We are in the middle of building our sub-brands to be of better service to our clientele. I agree with Diana that imbuing the organization with this curiosity mindset can help us remain relevant and positioned for more growth. I hope there are some points here that resonated with you as well and apply to your own company.