How Language Can Fool You Into Thinking The Wrong Way About Your Business

Language is a useful and ubiquitous tool. Just as the words in this article are connecting with you (dear reader), words are ubiquitous. Words are all around us all the time, and are in many ways a tool that we take for granted — language always being available to connect with us with our families, our customers, our employees, with each other. The ubiquitous nature of language can frequently find us doing some funny things: Like mistaking language (a tool) for the actual things we use language to describe. This fundamental error of thought can find us representing things in our own minds in ways that may not make as much sense as we would like. Here is an example.

Often business owners, managers, and decision makers get fooled by the way they use language into thinking that their business a ‘thing’. It is not. It is convenient and even necessary to use a noun to refer to your business when communicating with people, but when you visualize it for yourself, make sure you don’t ever do so.

“Your business is not a noun. It is a verb. It is a ‘happening’ and a ‘doing’. It is nothing less than the sum total of the actions and thoughts of every employee and customer. It is the result-in-motion of all of the things that the people who participate in your business do each and every day.”

Mentally framing your business in this way is an easy and useful step toward understanding it and how its complexity is organized. If you are visualizing the business as a noun (an object of some kind) this model of understanding is inherently missing much of its complexity. By promoting your visualization from a noun (static) to a verb,  you are automatically shifting your mind into a much more complex modeling paradigm– immediately closer to the reality of dance-like complexity found in all businesses as they grow and operate.

As simple as this idea is, it is a powerful and nearly effortless shift in thought that can empower you to better understanding and decision making.

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Kevin Ready

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