Monday, July 23, 2007

Mental Broadband

I really like good metaphors. Here is one from Tom Haskins comparing our minds to laptops and the internet, where our conscious mind is the laptop and the 24/7 internet is our unconscious mind.

Most conscious minds rarely access the unconscious mind for solutions, inspirations, and intuitions. They are like laptops that search their hard drive, but do not go online to search the Web. The unconscious mind can guide us into perfect timing so we are in the right place with the right idea in mind to make the right difference. If we ask, we can receive what we need to know, learn what we need to do next and change what we need to upgrade.

Very thought provoking. Many people in business only ever access their own hard drive. Entrepreneurs and innovators strive to get to this level of thinking, but struggle in getting there. Tom provides some ideas in his post on knowing when to access, but to me the hard part is knowing how to form the question to run the correct search? First, I believe it is about finding your creative place. Second, you need to surround yourself with others at work or outside of work who are also trying to get to this level of consciousness or are possibly already there. Third - give it some time to process. The unconscious is vast, and it will take time to draw some conclusions.


Tom Haskins said...

Kevin: Thanks for the kudos. You said "but to me the hard part is knowing how to form the question to run the correct search? "

I think "the correct search" comes from the situation faced by the entrepreneur. If a new product is not selling as expected, the innovators know they have a problem, but they don't know which problem they actually have. The first search would be to get a sense of their real problem. Inventorying possible problems is a great way to login to the unconscious. For example, is their new product not selling because:

--the product is too sophisticated, suffers from "feature creep", improvements are in the specs, not the "ease of use"
--the product is too similar to rival offerings, same features and benefits, only superficial differences
--the start-up has problems with reputation, trust, rapport, respect, with the potential customers
--the product is no problem but the ownership experience is problematic - no service after the sale, warranty, return policy, etc
--the product is presented as good for the customer "regardless of their circumstances" and not as a solution to particular problems that trouble the customers
--the sales pitch is too pushy and provokes the customers to resist, feign disinterest, give the seller the runaround, act non-committal, etc.

Once the unconscious points the entrepreneurs in the direction of working on their actual problem(s), the next search will deal with how to solve that shortcoming.

Kevin Donaldson said...

Great comment/example Tom. In your example the 'problem' is really just the symptom. Doing some root cause analysis, plants the seeds for the unconscious mind to begin working. I like it. I think it could also be used in a proactive manner to examine situations before they occur.