“YouTube is going to be a flop“, that’s what Steve Chen co-founder of the video portal believed, “there’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” How wrong he was with that statement is clear to us now, since meanwhile billions of people watch videos on YouTube every day. Our everyday life is swarmed with misjudgments and belated reactions to trends and changes.   

As a result, the following questions arise

  • Why do organizations detect changes in their relevant environments too late?
  • Why don’t they see that they don’t see what they don’t see?
  • And how can they succeed in not normalizing or rejecting new things?

Our concept of Foresighted Self-Renewal provides answers to these questions and more

According to the systemic organizational theory, organizations are highly complex social systems. Their basic element is communication. In order to keep the capacity to remain effective, organizations have to reduce complexity by scanning their relevant environments with certain observation and evaluation patterns – constantly deciding which information is important and which is not. Important information is then processed in the organization’s communication system. Information considered to be unimportant is no longer relevant for the communication. As a result, organizational blind spots originate. If these observation and evaluation patterns – which are often established over decades – are not reflected regularly, it can lead to great misjudgments and therefore to fatal decisions.

A good example for misjudgment is a shortstory about the beginnings of Apple

Apple founder Steve Jobs once told a story about his first steps in business: “So we went to Atari and said, “Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.” And they said, “No”’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, “Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t even got through college yet.” Jobs and Wozniak then founded their own company and built their first home computer themselves. Another example of organizational blindness is the assessment of a banker who was requested to accompany one of the first oil drillings in the United States: “Drill for oil? You mean drilling holes in the ground and hoping for oil to come out of it? Are you crazy?”

What can organizations do to protect themselves from misjudgments like that?

The concept of Foresighted Self-Renewal shows how organizations can – through an outside-insight process – provide themselves with the necessary impulses to successfully work on their organizational blindness. Did we spark your interest? You want to learn more about our concept of Foresighted Self-Renewal? Then Guest Prof. Robert A. Sedlák and his team of consultants are at your disposal. Simply arrange a free and personal online dialogue. We gladly comply with your individual scheduling needs.

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