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Archive for February, 2013

Perceptual Blindness

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013


Perceptual Blindness (PB) is basically looking at something – right there in front of you, but still not being able to see it. While PB is typically associated with images, such as “Where’s Waldo?” (locating a character within a visual field), the fact is that PB exists on many levels, and has impact in many areas of your life.

As a strategist, my goal is to present to a client, the WAY to win the battle, the game, or whatever metaphor floats your boat (LOL). What I often find is that people have the problem or the solution (as the case may be) right in front of their face. Their mind simply refuses to see it because they DO NOT expect the problem or solution to be there.

When a business, or even a person is faced with a challenge, their internal system has them convinced that the solution(s) are OUT THERE…far out of reach…not yet encountered…and possibly, just waiting to be discovered. It is why a company will often hire an outside consulting firm to provide them with a “magic pill” – even as the guy who runs the mailroom is tugging on the CEO’s coat, saying, “Sir…I actually have THE solution!”

Businesses that have experienced multiple challenges have convinced themselves that the answer lies beyond, and individuals who have had personal challenges and/or a series of bad experiences in life, also believe that the solution is going to be “magical”…and is somewhere out there in the universe.

What I have found is that – more often than not, the solution may not be simple, and it may not be just lying on the ground like a shiny gold coin. Rather, the solution to which they are blind – involves a fresh look at the environment.

For example, a company with which I worked, had sales that were in the toilet. They had previously decided that the solution to their problem was investing in all kinds of technology as a means of enhancing their customer’s experience in their stores, while at the same time, assisting their sales team in closing more sales.┬áLong story short, their approach didn’t work.

We came into the situation, looked at their process, and explained to them that the answer was actually right there in front of them. They were “perceptually blind” for the simple reason that they had convinced themselves that the solution couldn’t be THERE. It had to be somewhere else, or involve something else (like the technology). The solution was a re-crafting of the marketing and sales process – and had nothing to do with technology.

On an individual level, I see PB all the time. People are constantly looking for OUTSIDE solutions to fix their lives. They think that, if they look better (physically – which they should do anyway), if they focus on A, B, and C – that all the pieces will come together. But we all know how that story ends.

The POINT: When faced with a problem, step away from where you are, and then come back and take a fresh look at the challenge before you. LOOK for what you expect not to be there, because more often than not, that’s where IT is.

Have A GREAT Day!

…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team