Wandering Forward

Wandering Forward

When I go to church I learn things and I’m often fascinated by how many spiritual lessons become visible through our following the scientific process in our lives. This morning I was listening to one such talk where former fighter pilot and Lufthansa executive Dieter F. Utchdorf talked about the need for daily spiritual course corrections. He related this to the times as a pilot where a great deal of his job was to make small course corrections to compensate for any myriad of natural external influences along their course. His premise is that we need to do similar things in our own lives.

In his talk he discussed the Max Plank Gesellschaft’s study Walking in Circles. Participants in the study were told to walk in a straight line in a forest—where reference points would be difficult to discern. I found the image associated with the study to be the most telling.

RF, PS, and KS participated in the study when it was cloudy. Jan Souman noted “most of the participants in the study walked in circles, sometimes in extremely small ones (diameter less than 20 metres).” Clearly they were lost but they had no idea of how lost they were. Even after showing them the GPS data I’m sure several of them assumed that the data from the satellites was somehow incorrect.

In contrast SM had 15 minutes of clouds and then the sun available. SM’s line isn’t perfectly straight, but by comparison it’s significantly straighter than all of the others by far.

Dieter is correct, we need to make spiritually minor course corrections in our personal lives—but we also need to make course corrections in our professional lives as well. We need to make sure we don’t lose sight of the long term view where we deliver value for those who consume our goods and products. I’d love to hear about techniques that your teams use to make sure they keep their customer in mind.