Insights

Scanning the Periphery with Awareness

With so much information coming at us, are we distinguishing the signals we need to help us navigate our world? In the 2005 HBR article, Scanning the Periphery, the authors suggest that we can strengthen our ability to see blind spots and ‘weak signals’ sitting just at the periphery of our vision by the shifting the kinds of questions we ask, questions like: who is picking up the weak signals in your industry? what are your mavericks trying to tell you? Now, in 2024 we can take this understanding of working with the periphery a step further: what would it mean to further develop the way we are present to incoming signals?

Imagine for a moment, putting on a pair of new high-tech glasses. These glasses are designed specifically to pick up on the periphery. What’s also special about these glasses is that they allow you to see the periphery from a higher structure of awareness. You are now able to see patterns that previously weren’t visible to you, patterns incoming from the future.

Let’s take this one step further. Imagine that these high-tech glasses are programmed to pick up on an incoming pattern, through this higher structure of awareness, that supports the flourishing of all life – the evolutionary impulse towards complexity and what is life-giving.

What might be possible with this new vision? Perhaps business strategies could now integrate multiple levels of concern (business, social, planetary) that otherwise seem impossible. Not only can you see change coming, and respond to it, you start to perceive a new kind of possibility that has a bigger net gain for your business and for the planet. As executives, perhaps it’s time for us to claim the skill of being present to the periphery from a higher structure of awareness as a key skill for the 21st Century.

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