researchable problems

Some problems in business are very well documented, resulting in a lot of literature and knowledge altogether around a specific problem.

Other problems are so exotic, you’re pretty much on your own.

Both are good and bad.

Upon encountering a well-known problem in business, you can immerse yourself in a bath of knowledge. Study all there is to know around the issue at hand.

For instance, when your company is acquiring another company, how do you ensure the inherent culture is (re)aligned, so everybody operates on the same wavelength. Let’s say you want to expand and open up shop in a particular country or state. Transform your restaurant into a franchise business… The list with well-known challenges goes on.

The issue is this. Documentation around well-known challenges is almost always made available from a positive point of view. Meaning, after the challenge has been tackled successfully. What’s even more interesting is learning about how other people failed in an attempt to tackle the said challenge.

Optimize for not failing, don’t optimize for success. Small nuance, big difference.

expert paradox

Either you’re an expert, or you’re not. The shades of grey seem to be continuously reduced until we’re left with only black and white.

When somebody dedicates their life, academically and professionally, to a particular subject matter, chances are they’ll grow to become, or already are, an expert. Subsequently, they should be respected as such.

On the other hand, everybody is entitled to an opinion. No more, no less. You are entitled to an opinion, but the world doesn’t owe you anything. If your opinion is in no way backed by science, it’s just that, an opinion.

Sometimes a naive and humble approach or input can shed new light on a complex problem. However, due to the immediate dismissal of such input, the gap seems to be increasing. Either you’re a nitwit or an expert. Leaving no room for moderation and transferable knowledge from one domain into another.

think outside the book

Investing (time) in acquiring more knowledge into the domain in which you operate is always beneficial. Reading books, magazines, blogs, papers on your subject is a surefire way to increasing knowledge.

In an attempt to think out of the box, consuming reading material from a fundamentally different domain (as opposed to the one in which you operate) can expand your oculus.

Think outside the book. At least outside of the ones you would normally read.