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When you run a business, you want your customers and your clients to feel involved with you. And there is a strange quirk to how you might achieve – or not achieve – this feeling of connection and involvement. Basically, the more perfectly you present yourself, the greater distance you might be wedging between yourselves and any current or
future client. Weird!
Imprecision in business sounds like a bad thing. And on many occasions, it clearly is.
We want burglar alarms to protect our homes. No imprecision there. If someone breaks in – the alarm must sound. And the legal advice we get when buying and selling property, we need precision there, too. That boundary wall; who is responsible for looking after it then? Us? Or them?
And financials. High level accountancy support. Where numbers are involved then clearly, there can be no tolerance of imprecision.
Absolutes matter. A ‘three’ is a ‘three’. And a ‘four’ is a ‘four’.
So what does ‘The Importance of Imprecision’ mean? Well; imagine this.
Imagine a truly brilliant sketch either by somebody as prolific and as genius as Leonardo Da Vinci, or maybe even by an emerging artist that is scribbling her or his way around a clearly brilliant but part-evolved idea or notion. The sketch is clear in some places, and rough in others. It is both precise and imprecise. It leaves some bits of the idea unevolved. It’s sketchy. It’s unfinished.
Work like this can be beguiling. Really interesting. And very involving. Because the observer is working with the artist to fill in the gaps. They have to work a little to make sense of the overall picture. They are drawn in.
This kind of artwork may in some ways be much more engaging than a completed piece. Because a completed piece is the artist’s edge-to-edge story. Yes, a completed piece can draw you in also. But a completed, perfect picture is drawing you in to the exact thing the artist wants to say. And a sketch is, on some level, involving you in the process itself. It feels more like a conversation than a presentation.
Business can learn from this. Because businesses that are fully formed – in all areas – can feel a little cold. Unadventurous. Inflexible.
They can make you feel too much of, “is that all I’m going to get? I’m bored!” and not enough of, “what might an evolved relationship with you become? I’m excited!”
All sketchy is bad. But all precise can be bad too.
What parts of your business clearly and overtly welcome your customers in so that you can – together – develop something more wonderful than either of you alone could create? When you consider this question, also consider that the space you are inviting them into should be welcoming, inclusive, slightly vulnerable even, so that you both feel safe and connected. And those are not the feelings you get if you stand face-to-face with someone that is presenting themselves as the perfect, flawless finished article. I’m not even
sure that I like people that present that way.
Imprecision. Used right, it’s a great connector in business.