Shift Your Reality Gap

The Reality Gap is one of the chief contributing factors to failing strategies, in all of our businesses. The Reality Gap is a by-product of the way our minds work. It’s also the reason we think we know exactly what’s going on in our buyers’ worlds. Why we’re often wrong about their real needs.

We each view reality in our own unique way. No two realities are the same. That said, when we group together in a business, we begin to create a shared reality. Based on what the group believes to be true. We all sit in the same rooms and agree to the reality of our markets, our buyers’ needs and our competitors’ weaknesses. This shared reality forms the basis of our strategic assumptions.

The problem is this. Our individual and shared reality rarely matches the reality outside of ourselves, our teams or our business. That means the fundamentals of our strategy are out of sync with our markets and buyers. Which is why the Reality Gap causes strategies to fail.

We have to open our minds and change our habits to seek out different realities than what we already know is true. We have to step beyond our knowns and facts that bring us comfort, and into new territory. Do you chat with the buyer who didn’t choose your solution? With the customer that is pissed at you? With the steadfast loyal customers of your biggest competitors? With your customer service reps who take the brunt of your customers’ woes? When was the last time you sat in a meeting and listened to 10 buyers who don’t like your offerings?

Shift the way you look at your business. Shift the reports so they present data differently, shift the information you gather so you see different facts and data. Shift the sources of information about your markets so you get different perspectives. As you shift your inputs, you also shift what you know – and that in turn shifts your reality.

Start questioning your reality about your business. Look beyond what you know and search for what you don’t know. That’s how you find today’s reality.

Summing-up: Yesterday’s great innovation is today’s me-too feature. If you want to create great strategies that drive success, you have to shift into today’s reality – and tomorrow’s – based on what your buyers really think. So start shifting. The truth is out there…

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