Call: 905-845-4474
Call: 905-845-4474
Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWorkplace EngagementDoes Your ‘Island of Explanation’ Restrict Your Business Growth?

Does Your ‘Island of Explanation’ Restrict Your Business Growth?

When is the last time you truly thought about your business?

Why do we exist? If we disappeared tomorrow, would anyone really notice? Would they care? What competitive threats are out there that we are totally unaware of? Is there an “Uber” in our future?

Employees feel secure and engaged in a company when they have a sense that the leadership is doing a good job of stewarding the assets and future of the company. Although, as leaders, we’d like to answer “of course we are”, there are many ways in which we “go blind” – or have our Island of Explanation make us go blind.

What Is Our Island of Explanation?

Let me explain: Have any of you ever looked closely at the FedEx truck or package? Do you see the arrow between the EX in FedEx? If you don’t, you are not alone. The vast majority of people don’t see it and even when it’s pointed out, they need to really focus to have that ‘aha’ moment. This is going blind!

Why does it happen? The answer is at once both simple and complex. The human mind is a wonderful thing; once trained to recognize shapes or patterns of behaviour, it will be able to provide an answer to the conscious mind in a nanosecond. This is at the core of our ability to survive as a species. For some people (like Wayne Gretzy), the ability to see patterns is so developed that they can see the patterns even before they happen.

The downside to this is, like the letters on the FedEx truck, it can also make you go blind. That is what I refer to as our Island of Explanation. 

How Our Island of Explanation Constricts Our Business Opportunities

When we become totally immersed in the current nature of our industry, competitors, and regulations guiding our business, we run the risk of going blind. We can actually get to a point where we don’t see the real opportunities or threats to our business.

Was Uber an idea that came from a group of taxi drivers? Did hoteliers develop the idea of AirBnB? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

So what can we do about this? First of all, I subscribe to the old Chinese proverb: a problem once recognized is half solved.

After that, we need to get creative. How can you take your leadership team off their island of explanation? Can you attend conferences? Read books as a team? Bring in speakers who will challenge your way of thinking?

It’s time to begin thinking about this. The world is changing ever more rapidly, and technological disruptions are going to be a part of our lives going forward. We can sit back and count on regulation to bail us out (anyone up for another taxi demonstration?) or we can find a way to get out ahead of it.

It’s up to you.


Workplace Engagement Insights will help your organization build a high performance culture of engaged employees and great leaders. Get a free consultation with me to discuss your business needs.

Start improving employee engagement immediately. Download my FREE cheatsheet for Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 minutes.

Like this? You might also like:

Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

Sign Up for Our Monthly Newsletter

Survey Form
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.