One of the most vexing problems for each one of us is the classic dilemma of not knowing what we don’t know. I had countless encounters with this particularly nasty beast during my career – anything from small hiccups which are easy to remedy to large challenges leading to near catastrophe.
It is one thing to realize you have gaps in a specific domain and choosing to ignore them (the reasons for this being manifold – from simple time constraints to being too arrogant to accept the insight that one has those gaps). However, it is a completely different one when you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
These gaps are more common today than they were ever before in history – simply because our world moves on this crazy exponential curve, resulting in more and more “stuff” which you ought to know about, take into consideration and act upon.
A solution lies in the continuation of the quote above:
You don’t know what you don’t know – but the crowd might.
Rather than falling for the lone genius fallacy, engage with an as big, diverse and relevant a crowd as you can. Establish an open, trusting two-way communication not only with your employees but your customers, supporters, folks in related businesses up and down your supply chain, people working in different fields but who might just have the answer you are looking for.
Your role and responsibility as a founder, CEO or leader is not to always have the answers – your role is to set and communicate the vision and enable the best answers and solutions to emerge.