I love stats. Maybe it's because of my deep-rooted passion for sports and showbiz (I used to read Billboard and Variety charts like Moses read the 10 Commandments), but I can't get enough of data, and the Talmudic-like analysis of it.
Data generation and its crunching is the responsibility of a group called "Business Intelligence" (B.I.) at Airborne, and is the spawning ground of much Surprise (sparking multi-voiced choruses of "Hmmmmm," "I Didn't Know That," and the classic Surprise battle-cry, "Well, I Never").
But I got to thinking at a recent R&D meeting that while B.I. allows us to adjust to What Was or What Is, planning What Will Be is a different story...thus needs a different impetus.
This is why I plan to lead a "Business Stupidity" group at Airborne. By twisting the logical, looking at the world through prism-lensed glasses, or--as my mentor Roger Von Oech would put it--"playing the fool," we can come up with the type of perspective that will put the Pow! into our future product development. Thinking of the "what can't be" is an ideal tool for tomorrow's tech applications, wouldn't you say?
This skewed vantage point and devil-may-care attitude is a fun and effortless way to come up with Surprise for any business. If indeed the whole point of Surprise is to shock the system, you ain't necessarily do it by being intelligent. Some of the world's great Surprises have come from going so far and ridiculously against the grain that the obvious result is sure failure. Until it succeeds. (Then watch B.I.'s data points shoot through the spreadsheet!)
And will wonders never cease? Just check out the serendipitous acronym to the Business Stupidity group: