This is what will get you

Mar 18, 2011

Many of you will be familiar with the diagram below. It’s a version of the Johari Window, inadvertently popularized by Donald Rumsfeld, which I use in my free teleclass on how to think strategically.It’s also one of the most powerful tools in any business growth leader’s toolkit – if you know how to use it.

Johari's Window

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Here’s what’s going on:

1. KK: What you Know you Know

We live and work most in KK – what we know we know. If you’re a business founder, the business should be predicted on your KK. If you’re a business leader, your area of mastery should be your KK.

I know I know business growth. You know you know…what?

If we’re working primarily in an area that isn’t KK, it leads pretty quickly to tension and frustration – for everyone involved. If you don’t know what your KK is yet, or if you’re not sure you’re working in the heart of KK, then this article I wrote for my friend Sarah Robinson – or more precisely the 300+ comments from others – might help (warning – there’s a little ‘language in the post).

2. KDK: What you Know you Don’t Know

As a business leader you’re pretty much constantly battling KDK. What we ‘know we don’t know’ loom ahead as obvious pitfalls on the road to our strategic growth goals:

Will the competition cut prices? Will our commodity raw materials cost rise dramatically? Will a new technology arrive this year that will make our main product line redundant? Will our top team of performers be head-hunted away from us? These are all examples of what we know we don’t know.

3. DKDK: What you Don’t Know you Don’t Know

This is where the dragons lie. Unlike the stuff in KDK, by definition (stick with me here), we can’t know anything about those things we don’t know we don’t know.

Consequently, this is where the surprises emerge, the stuff that blind-sides us, the stuff that leaves us saying ‘where did that come from’?

Next week I’m going to elaborate on each of these, and show how you can increase KK and KDK, in turn reducing DKDK. Until then, it might help for you to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, head up the two columns ‘KK’ and ‘KDK’ and start writing:

When it comes to growing your business,

– What do you know you know?

What do you know you don’t know?