Don’t Drill, Think Big

Thinking big is about thinking laterally, not about drilling down. Too many people learn more and more about less and less. Think differently.

An example: A great many people talk about customer evangelism. Why not talk about the epiphanic customer, who has a sudden revelation about the product or service? On the road to Damascus, Paul is said to have had an epiphany which changed his attitude completely around.

Why don’t companies engage in marketing that turns those opposed completely around, sort of a “martial arts” of reversing existing momentum in your favor?

You won’t arrive at such things by drilling down. You need to rise above the daily, the tactical, the mundane.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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3 Responses to Don’t Drill, Think Big

  1. Dan Mitchell says:

    Hi Alan. I read this post three times, letting it sink in but in the end still finding myself struggling with your premise. I don’t disagree with you but find it difficult to negotiate an apparent (to me) paradox: the perspective and wisdom that comes from rising above the mundane and not missing the forest for the trees, while at the same time acknowledging the power that comes from intensity of focus (as opposed to touching on many things relatively lightly). As a former consultant and current business manager I have always believed and advised others to develop a “T” shaped set of knowledge, skills and interests: broad exposure to many fields, systems, etc, but with a singular focus on one area that could – ideally – be built into a lasting strength. Is this a good way to put this post’s message in context? Thanks.

  2. Alan Weiss says:

    You seem to have some methodology that’s in conflict with my observations, not a paradox you’ve found in them. “Focus” is not synonymous with “narrowness.” And “intensity” always scares me. There is no “power” in “intensity of focus.” Those are just words and phrases you’re finding comforting to your philosophy.

    What I’m saying, quite simply, is this: Stop learning more and more about less and less. Being a generalist is more valuable than being a specialist. Having process skills is more valuable than having content skills.

    Singular focus, whatever that means, does not create lasting strengths. It creates boring, narrow-minded specialists who miss the big picture and study granular issues. The only singular focus I would recommend would be rapidly improving the client’s condition. THAT’S the value. And you’re hearing that from a current, highly successful consultant.

    Thanks for writing, keep the challenges coming!

  3. Noah says:

    This makes a lot of sense to me. It’s very helpful.

    Thank you.

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