But what does it open?
If you’ve never read any of Richard Feynman’s lectures on physics you’re really missing something. Please, just try it.
Okay, so there’s a Buddhist teaching that says when a soul is born he is given a key. The key will unlock the door to heaven and the door to hell. Good luck. Have a nice life.
There’s a profound teaching in that—somewhere. It’s one of those sayings that opens a discussion. It is also very easy to make up some profound mind game to go along with it. Come on, it’s easy. Stuff like we each chose our own destiny yada yada yada. Easy.
What’s missing? When a brilliant mind of science considers this “teaching” he notices something immediately. The information which gives the key its value is missing. Of course, a good Buddhist would tell you that you’re supposed to go through your life trying to figure out into which door to stick your key.
That’s nice. Probably profound too. But we’re here to talk business.
So I would say that each manager holds a key. In fact, you have a huge damn ring of keys and a million doors to choose. Some open to good things and some not. In my non-Buddhist version some of the rooms are empty.
Let’s go back to Feynman. He immediately decries the lack of information. Where’s the data? Without instructions the key has no value. True.
Not all data are information. I see way too much “data gathering” these days and not enough looking for information. Computers let us measure everything. Computers and the people working on them are wasting a lot of time gathering a lot of meaningless data. They’re not producing information.
If things are not going as well as you’d like at your business, I’ll bet you’re gathering a lot of data. As things go bad, businesses tend to gather more data. But that data seldom yields information you can’t get by observing. (Business Astronomy 101)
Boss, have you thought about just walking around the business and observing? It’s a lot of fun. You’ve still got the stuff that got you up the ladder. Walk around and observe.
If you can’t come up with a list of 10 things to fix by just observing, you might need a little help with your observing skills. Computers make for rusty observing skills. I’m not being critical; I’m offering a suggestion and help.
By observing, you’ll be amazed at easy it is to sort out your keys.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog