In this article our CEO, Per-Erik Persson, takes a walk on the savanna to get some inspiration for our platform. What can giraffes teach us about leadership in the 21th Century?
I really like the giraffe in the picture. With its long neck it’s able to see beyond the walls that would otherwise obscure its view. You know how it is to walk surrounded by walls. You don’t see beyond the next bend. You can only have a very short perspective because so much is hidden from view. Most of us don’t even realize this to be true – we are so used to seeing only that which we see, how could there be anything else?
There’s an expression that comes to mind as I reflect upon giraffes and the ability to see further than others:
“What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”
Ignorance is bliss!?
This expression works as support for a mindset of neglect, trying to make something harmful into something glamorous. I tried many times to make peace with ignorance – they say it’s bliss – but I have failed. I prefer knowing over not knowing – if you have found an area where you prefer not knowing please let me know, I’d love to hear.
Even when it comes to the ultimate question of knowing when your time is up, I’d still say that I would prefer to know. Knowing would allow me to make an informed choice. I could try to live every day like it’s my last but knowing which day would be my last would inevitably grant me a different perspective on most things.
A giraffe's perspective
RealityCheck doesn’t deal with ultimate questions of life and death. We deal with feedback. We see ourselves as providing a giraffe’s perspective to the people we support. We allow them to see beyond the next bend, to gain an overview perspective of themselves and the environment they operate in.
If you know your giraffes you know that it’s not only the long neck that grants them their perspective. Their eyes are set so that they can easily see as wide as possible. Their hearts are huge and strong – they need to be – to pump blood up through such long necks. Thus, giraffes embody two of RealityCheck’s most important features – panoramic vision and big hearts.
Striving for an empathic 360-feedack experience
We see how fast the world is changing. Workspaces are now less cubical and more hybrid, forcing us to accept that we can’t have perfect overview – people aren’t fully in front of us anymore. Leaders need help to get a better overview and to spot early signs of factors that threaten to interfere with company goals.
To be able to turn a supportive gaze towards the people around them, leaders need to first understand what others see. RealityCheck's aim is to enable leaders to turn their gaze to see beyond what’s in front of them. Our contribution to leaders is our 360-feedback tool, charged with a cognitive analysis and designed with maximum empathy for the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.