I was not surprised by the results of the recent elections. Apparently, some people were.
My hunch is that they were trapped in an infinite loop bubble.
It happens in government, in big business, and in small business. Ideas and issues don’t make it past the gatekeepers to the leaders who need to have a full picture of what is happening with their customers or constituents.
Why? Ideas and information are filtered to protect leaders, whether they are small business owners, big business CEOs or the President of the United States. And they become trapped in an infinite loop bubble.
Surrounded by a culture of yes-sir or yes-ma’am, they lose touch with what is happening in the real world. To a person who is not caught up in the loop, it is difficult to understand how someone could make such choices, but to the person ensnared in the loop, it’s like being surrounded by a bubble and protected from the realities of the world. All that is required is insulation or selective hearing.
This infinite loop is a syndrome that can be seen over and over in the behavior of sports stars, rock bands, and other famous people, not to mention…government executives. Whenever you ask yourself the question, “What were they thinking?” you can probably assume that person was caught in an infinite loop bubble.
Now, you might think this cannot possibly happen in your small business. Your idea is that you know exactly what your customers are thinking, that your employees are telling you everything that happens, that you know what’s going on.
And that’s exactly when you are at risk.
Preventing infinite loop bubbles in your small business is fairly simple, but not always easy. Why not? Because a prevention program requires that the person in power has the self-worth to allow himself/herself to be challenged.
For those with the guts, here are three techniques for preventing infinite loop bubbles:
1. Have a Jerk-O-Meter: Make sure there is one person in your life/business that won’t hesitate to tell you when you are acting like a jerk.
2. Appoint a corporate fool: Give someone the job of asking “stupid” questions about policies, processes, and assumptions.
3. Use the Mom test: If you would you be embarrassed to have your mother read about it on the front page of the newspaper or on Google News, think again.
Don’t miss out on great small business ideas or information that could harm your business by letting yourself be trapped in an infinite loop bubble.