Testing The Visual Field

Every so often my eye doctor has me take a visual field test. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, this is an accurate description:

The patient sits in front of an (artificial) small concave dome in a small machine with a target in the center. The chin rest on the machine and the eye that is not being tested is covered. A button is given to the patient to be used during the exam. The patient is set in front of the dome and asked to focus on the target at the center. A computer then shines lights on the inside dome and the patient clicks the button whenever a light is seen. The computer then automatically maps and calculates the patient’s visual field.

It’s actually not so easy to stare at the target and the machine knows when you’re moving your eye around to look for the white dots (which is cheating, kids!).   Other than the fact that I went to take this test this morning, why do I bring this up?

I think we need to administer this sort of test to our businesses.  Every business has blind spots just as does every human.  It’s important to know where they are and to make sure that the overall vision the business enjoys isn’t impacted.  Assessing the limits of our vision – how well we see light as it gets dimmer and how well our peripheral vision is working is important to understand.  Unlike a human, the business can’t simply compensate by moving its gaze around.  It needs to strengthen its sight through better intelligence, by doing a better job of listening, and by making sure the assumptions under which it operates still hold true.  Our own biases (yes, we all have them) can often lead us in a direction that’s seriously out of touch with reality.  That belief system can be a huge blind spot and unless we evaluate things carefully we might miss opportunities or problems.

I get my eyesight checked fairly often.  I’d suggest we need to do the same sort of business testing at least as regularly.  Do you agree?

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