Welcome to our September Business Briefing.

Business Briefing: Are you a 'perspective manager'?

In a recent series of blogs I argued that managing your own perspectives (and helping others to manage their assumptions) is a key skill for all leaders. The first piece in the series was followed up each day that week until I argued for WITOS in the last blog on that theme.

Here are five tests to check how you are doing. Please award yourself 0 points for ‘never’, 1 for ‘sometimes’, 2 for ‘often’ and 3 for ‘always’:

1) What are you watching for when you are reading a board/news/academic paper, watching a presentation, talking with colleagues or chairing a meeting? Do you listen for things that question your beliefs? Do you celebrate the ‘falsification’ of what you ‘know’ (i.e. being proved wrong)? (Rather than only appreciate the corroboration of your existing view?)

2) Would you agree: “I am curious about things more often than certain. My favourite words are IDK (I don’t know).”

3) As hard as it is, you do try to practice the self-discipline of WITOS: looking, always, for ‘what is the other side’?

4) You try to make your decisions, judgement and views open to challenge – from peers and especially those more junior to me in your organisation.

On scoring – 10-12, brilliant – please let me know how you do it! 0-3, I am happy to have a chat if you want. 4-9, well done – I would be pleased to hear what you find easiest and hardest and what you might try as an ‘improvement cycle’ over the next 90 days.

By the way, I argue ‘perspective management’ is especially important in Noble Purpose Organisations such as charities, NGOs and public services. These are organisations where it is very easy, and damaging, for staff at all levels to blindly act as if their own personal motives and priorities (perspectives!) are ‘right’. See my forthcoming blog on NPOs (and do ask me for my more reflective pamphlet): please sign up here if you want the blog directly.

All the best in your work helping others you lead to meet to compare and challenge perspectives – in ways that build trust, energy, insight and commitment.

Well done!


P.S. Wanting to move from ‘know’ to ‘knew’ is an important personal orientation – it is at the heart of ‘falsification’ and the scientific method.

idenk updates

Sign up for updates on our latest thinking via the Business Briefing