I See You (#9)
Seeing is believing, as they say, however, believing is actually the very opposite of seeing. Whether it is religious faith, love, or any matter of the human soul, we believe in spite of empirical evidence.
But that's not the case in business where facts and figures reign. We believe in a business idea when its desired impact can be proven (by numbers). We believe in leaders when they show consistent behavior. Or do we?
The counter-narrative is to think of marketplaces as fictions, of organizations as soulful, and of invisible assets—ideas, culture, relationships—as the critical components of business.
If that holds true, then we professionals must become better at seeing. As visionaries, we must see a world no one else can see (yet), and as decision-makers, we must discern the signal amid all the noise.
Part of our training, as business people, should be to become comfortable with what we see in the mirror (in the real world and online) and to learn from those who have mastered a keen eye: people like the photographer (and House19 resident) Beowulf Sheehan who has made portraits of the world’s most renowned authors and artists, and found in them the full range of our humanity.
But, be aware, we all have a blind spot: our desire to quantify everything leaves us ill-prepared for the “three nothings of life”: black swan events, things that did not happen, and inner emptiness. What we see is not always what we get. And the truth remains highly subjective and volatile.
Perhaps the best way to see the truth and each other more clearly is neither facts and figures nor smarter algorithms, but something inherently human: telling more beautiful stories.
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