I wasn’t vague blogging recently when mentioning vision problems that have kept me from regularly blogging the last 18 months. Several people wondered what the situation was. I’m sharing more detail because, even in my eye problems, there’s a great organizational vision lesson present, too.
Sometime in 2019, I began experiencing a noticeable decline in vision, starting with difficulty in seeing computer screens. That created more frequent typos along with the inability to sit down with a laptop or tablet and write when away from a big monitor. I also experienced challenges driving, especially at dawn and dusk, and not clearly seeing traffic lanes and signs. Finally, I experienced double and triple vision.
My pre-pandemic eye appointment suggested cataracts in both eyes as the culprit. When cataracts appear in younger people (younger being relative), they form quickly. The doctor referred me to a surgeon, but the pandemic and sheltering in place meant putting off surgery. By the time I was comfortable proceeding, surgeon options were narrowed because few of them accept our insurance. Amazingly, I did find one a mile from our house. The first surgery was scheduled for early February 2022.
The Organizational Vision Lesson
The week before the procedure, Zach, the surgery scheduler, asked me multiple questions to ensure I was okay with proceeding. He listed symptoms that I’d been experiencing, then asked about yellow or dim vision. I hadn’t noticed this symptom; for me, it was much more the multiple images and difficulty reading small type on computer screens. He said, “Yeah, wait until after the surgery.”
When they removed the bandage from the left eye following the surgery, I realized what Zach meant. My left eye’s vision was bright and amazingly clear. I was already at 20/20 vision (and reading 20/15 by the next day). My right eye? It seemed as if I were looking through a dingy glass bottle.
I had no idea that my vision was dimmed; that’s the organizational vision lesson in this experience.
Beyond the amazing medical innovations that make the cataract procedure outpatient surgery (our neighbor, a former nurse, said cataract surgery used to be a week’s hospital stay), the innovation lesson is how easy it is to also miss realizing how dim your organizational vision is.
We run into this with potential and active clients; they are so used to how they have been seeing things for so long, they can’t imagine anything different being reality. That’s why it is vital for any organization to continually freshen its strategic perspectives.
What’s the equivalent of cataract surgery for undimming your organizational vision? Here are a few ways:
- Ask a wide and diverse set of employees what they are seeing (provided you ask in a way that they feel free to share the real view)
- Bring in people external to your organization, whether new employees, strategic partners, or consultants, who can point out where they are seeing things differently than you are
- Consciously putting executives and others in the organization into situations where they are forced to see things from an unfamiliar perspective
I didn't realize my dimmed vision. Lots of organizations are in the same boat.
We've developed free resources to help you freshen your organizational vision. We’re also happy to chat with you at your convenience to explore other ideas to get your organizational vision effectively and quickly back to 20/20. Don’t put it off another day! – Mike Brown