Chaos can be fun!
“We thought we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong” Bono (Paul David Hewson)
Clients will be looking for support in:
- Understanding the latest and potential future technological advancements
- Understanding the potential impact on their business
- Managing any change that will be needed
- Planning for any current and future training needs
- Understanding any impact on economic drivers
- Taking their business message to market
- Ensuring amongst all the disruption they have a clear plan with a workable action plan
Asking questions drives and stimulates thinking, unless the answer generates another question it brings an end to the debate. But learning by stimulating thinking is nothing new and dates back to Socrates, indeed “The Socratic Method”, teaching by asking questions instead of telling is well documented. So, may be as we enter into this new unpredictable and chaotic world where there will be very few proven answers we would be better off being asked the right question.
We should not fear this chaotic world, we should see it as being liberating, when you are certain of what the future holds you don’t ask questions nor do you need to be questioned, there is no innovation or exploration you remain in your own defined and confined world. Chaos actually provides freedom to explore, to question the status quo, innovate and find new opportunities; businesses should be asking:
- What is new?
- What is possible?
- What will people pay for?
Entrepreneurs are by nature people who like to be in control of their own destiny, after all if they are the ones taking the risk they should be the ones that have the final say. They also should understand their business, the markets they operate in and their customers better than someone from outside their business sector. Taking this into account it should not be a surprise that someone coming in with no first-hand experience of the area in which the business operates in, trying to impress and generate an economic relationship by telling them what they should do may not be the solution.
On the other hand, someone coming in and asking pertinent questions which draws the entrepreneur out of their daily operational pressures and thought patterns of their business, enabling them to see their business from the outside in as opposed from just the inside could be of greater value. There has always and always will be “two ways to skin a rabbit”, and we have all had that experience when we cannot “see the wood from the trees”. It is often said that it is a lonely place at the top, and undoubtedly it can be, and the more decisions and the bigger the decisions are that must be made the lonelier it can be become.
The only way to overcome this conundrum is to discuss the issue with someone, but it is probably a discussion that is needed rather than direct advice as that would be taking the control element away from the decision maker. It is always better to empower the decision maker to make the decision, not only is the outcome more likely to be successful as they will take ownership of the actions needed for the change which enhances the likelihood of success but more importantly it increases the likelihood of the actions taking place.