Basic market research is usually a nose counting exercise: “How many preferred Choice A over Choice B?” That answer might be useful, but it's not a hidden rule. Rules in general look a little bit more like, “For every year of college above high school graduation, a parent spends 5% more per month on their children's educational needs than a high school educated parent does.” (Note: this is not a research result...it is a fiction for illustrative purposes only.)
Physics teaches us that you can't learn the whole universe all at once. The social system within which your organization operates can be uncovered rule by rule, so LO+FT emphasizes the search for rules. What's the payoff? Every rule about your business world you find that your competition doesn't gives you a big potential advantage.
If you find some of those rules, look them over carefully for innovative insights. Lee Iacocca built a fabulous career uncovering rules about the way Baby Boomers lived. Steve Jobs did the same thing, uncovering rules about people's desires for extremely portable media. Whose rules should you be looking for?
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LO+FT Leadership programming is aimed at building adaptive and innovative mindsets in up-and-coming leaders within any kind of organization.
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Dr. Meylan: What do people need to do differently to bring about the innovations they need or want?
Jack Gates, CEO, National Captioning Institute: Well, as you know, every situation is different. Primarily, you need to see yourself as connected to a larger system, one that you currently cannot see, but you now know is there. There are things in that system that can hurt you, and that can help you, pretty much as if it were Nature Herself. So you have to start digging for the rules and principles that make this unseen system work. And keep in mind that these rules and principles aren't the rules for playing fair. They aren't the rules where “If you're good you'll get a cookie,” kind of thing. These are the rules which describe to you how this unseen system works. That's what you have to find out.
Dr. Meylan: So, it's important that you get used to thinking of yourself as connecting to, or participating in, this larger system. Over time, it will become natural for you to use this approach whenever you find yourself in unfamiliar conditions.
Jack Gates: Yes, and as you get used to looking for the rules-based system underlying your situation, you'll build increasingly effective habits that speed up the rule-discovery process. This, in turn, adds speed to your innovation efforts. You'll start to build an increasingly large number of rules that work reliably in more and more new situations. This is where an approach like LO+FT can help you make such rapid headway in so many places in life.
Study the present very carefully
to build possible versions of the future.
Generate strategic options
based on those possible futures.
Work quickly to create long lead times,
and watch events carefully to select the best options.