Friday, January 15, 2021

Spectrum thinker

Spectrum (n.) "A set of values, ideas, or conditions, discreet or continuous, thematically consistent, and contained within a range"
Of some people it is said: 'they are spectrum thinkers'
Meaning what?
Meaning that person takes in a range of ideas, consults a number of sources, listens to more than one person, and from all sources arrives at their own position, decision, or concept.

The good news: spectrum thinkers are open to ideas, receptive to new concepts, not necessarily beholden to "the way we've always done it"

The bad news: spectra are not always tidy. Phasing has a lot to do with the quality of outcomes.
Phasing is the timeliness, or time-relationship, of the spectrum components [ideas, sources, facts, opinions].

Example: in communications, a square-wave signal is the sum of many spectral signals, properly timed ... one with the other ... to create sharp edges. Screw up the timing, and that same sum of signals will be just white noise

Example: take 20 singers, properly phase their voices, and you get a choir; otherwise you just get a noisy outcome, like a party group. 
Getting to a decision:
And so, effective spectrum thinking is not just openness to ideas, but also discipline with regard to timing and phasing of inputs. 
After all, the counterpoint to spectrum thinking is indecisiveness: always looking for one more input; always fearful that something is not being considered. And, too often willing to consider input that comes too late, out of order, and likely to add noise rather than signal to deliberations.
Call the question!
And, it's not only individuals: it's groups, committees, task forces, councils, etc. 
Everyone wants a voice
At some point, there's no value add to more information
It's time to call the question and make a decision!
Leadership is about recognizing this inflection point: more information will not help! 

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