Are you observant?
My mother used to tell me, “Be alert, the world needs more lerts.”
In business, that couldn’t be truer. But how do you “be alert” effectively?
I actually learned a pretty cool method for being alert and studying bible passages from my pastor. He said, “If you want to study the bible, make observations about the passages.”
I suggest you study your business in the same manner. And you can apply this to any aspect or department of your business that you want.
To practice, start by observing someone else’s business. Make a field trip out of this. Go to your favorite restaurant and try it out. Hey, you’ve got to eat, might as well learn something at the same time.
Make observations about the experience that you, and other customers, have at the restaurant. So get your meal, sit down where you can see as much of the restaurant as possible and start observing.
There is nothing too small or insignificant to observe. Many of the observations can even be questions. This is like brainstorming. You are not qualifying anything. There is no right or wrong observation. Just observations.
What do you see? What does it mean? How does it work? Why is it that way?
Write them all down. Try and come up with 50! That might seem like a lot, so you might have to order dessert too.
I tried this at a local restaurant. Here are my 50 observations.
Now that you have given this a try…at someone else’s expense, give it a shot with your business. If you have partners, managers and employees, have them try it too. The different perspectives could be valuable.
Now that you have all those observations, think through them. Ask “Why?” at the end of each observation. There must be a reason! Does it matter? Can it be improved? Can we do more of it? Should we do less of it? Should we change it?
“Why” is a powerful question if you are honest about it.
This is a cross between a mystery shopper and CSI. Dig deep. Ask why! Find answers.
Bottom Line: Actually try it. You have nothing to lose.