Blue Sky Thinking

Groan – a post all about blue sky thinking…  But wait, I’m not about to witter on about what you think I’m going to witter on about!

There are two types of people in the world (on today’s chosen dimension of the multidimensional segmentation of human characteristics that we call ‘life’).  Those that don’t know why the sky is blue, and those that do.  Depending on which segment you belong to, you’ll probably be pretty shocked right now, either at yourself for never having thought about it, or at everyone else for the same reason.

If you’re in the latter segment, then ask around.  You’ll be surprised at just how many people can’t answer the question “why is the sky blue?”.  Don’t be too harsh though, this isn’t about being a thicko, it’s about being curious.

I won’t go into the detail, instead –

See – you don’t need to be a genius, you just need to ask the question.  A basic grasp of physics is all that was needed.  What stood between understanding and ignorance was curiosity (and, possibly, credulity*).

Same goes in business.  There are all sorts of clever-clogs statistical processes that can be used to optimise your activity to the n-th degree (we can do this by the way – contact us if you need help), but this is folly unless you’ve adopted a curiosity about your business.  Nothing ‘just is’, and that goes as much for the colour of the sky as it does the sources of your profits.

It may be tempting to leapfrog basic reporting, which will indulge your curiosity and help you to get to grips with the fundamentals of your business, in favour of the more sexy end of the analytical spectrum – but that way lies madness.

Here’s a quick test: if you can’t tell me what proportion of your revenue comes from Google Adwords, or how your customer-base splits down by age, then you have failed.  You’ve got 5 minutes – go.

Success?  Congratulations.  Otherwise, let’s talk.

*Some people may attribute the colour of the sky to some supernatural deity or other, which in a lot of ways is a lot worse than having simply never thought about it.  Still, it’s forgivable though.  As a child this person will have been told some hokum, which they have never challenged since.  This happens elsewhere too, those in apparent authority may have convinced you with their explanation for a phenomenon which has gone unchallenged for years.