What do Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham know about your business? Nothing really. They are dead. But they can still help you have better insight into your business.
Joseph and Harry are responsible for the Johari window (a mash-up of their names, a la Brangelina and Bennifer). They created the Johari Window as a tool to expand what we ‘know’ about ourselves and how we interact with others. And they did it 60 years ago before name mash-ups were cool.
Here it is:
But it turns out the Johari window provides surprising insight into our businesses as well. Just substitute your organization for ‘self’ and your clients and competition for ‘others.’ Here are just three of the questions this tool begs us to ask:
- As an organization what do we know that they don’t? And how can we capitalize? If we take the time to step back and look through the ‘hidden’ window pane we will notice trends and changes about our clients that allow us to align ourselves with those trends and be ‘there’ ahead of our competition.
- What are some possible things that are unknown or unrecognized to us but our market knows. These are blind spots or the ‘blind’ window pane. To minimize our blind spots we need to create ways to get honest feedback from our market…from our clients. To get real feedback from clients it may just be as simple as asking our client face to face “how are we doing?” Or better yet “what can we do better?” But sometimes real feedback is only available if clients are able to give it anonymously in a survey response to a few pointed questions.
- For a little balance, look through the Johari Window backwards. Look through the panes as though you are your most formidable competition, the company that eats your lunch. What insights can we harvest from what we know of their strengths and weaknesses? These may or may not be things that are apparent to them. Defensively, what can we do to neutralize their strengths? Offensively, what can we do to make their weaknesses work for us?
Sometimes all we need to gain fresh insights is a new frame of reference. The Johari window can be a powerful tool to use to see our organizations, our market, and our competition differently. It may even uncover what is lurking in your company’s blind spot.
By Jonathan Walters with Crux Consulting, Inc. – Crux Consulting Inc. provides practical growth and success tools for general contractors and subcontractor trades in the construction industry. Want to learn more? Contact via email at email@example.com or go to www.cruxconsultinginc.com .