Whatever we are looking at, whether we are near to it, or a long way away from it, we have a perspective on it. We can’t see the back of it, we might not even be able to see the side of it. We are limited to our perspective.
I know of people who write off an application or web site after only a few minutes of looking at it. I know other people who regard everything from a particular company as being the best at whatever it is that the product is doing. I myself would prefer never to see a product from certain companies ever again.
Each one of these opinions is formed from a perspective built up from an experience.
Whether this perspective is a good one, or not, is difficult to assess, particularly by ourselves. We can’t see what we can’t see.
Some of these perspectives are formed from our irrationality. Even when we know something that would change our perspective we don’t.
Standing at the bottom of a cliff our perspective towards the cliff could be completely different. We could see it as an adventure to overcome, we could also see it as a dangerous place to move quickly away from.
In many work situations we try to gain the perspective of others, but often we choose people who will reinforce our perspective to review our understanding. We need to do a better job of valuing diverse views and opinions.
Sometimes perspectives are called “experience” because they’ve been held for some time. But often this type of perspective isn’t built from experience at all, it’s built from an experience.
We use statistics to support our perspectives and reinforce the words of Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Spend any time at all looking at the statistics that surround the issue of global warming and you will find people who people who’s perspective, no matter what it is, is supported by one statistic or another.
When I am reversing my car into a tight parking spot my perspective is very limited. Sometimes someone will off to show me the way in. These people don’t sit next to me an use the same perspective that I have, they stand outside the car to give the situation another perspective.
Many of the words innovations have happened by someone taking what already existed and seeing it in a different perspective. One example is this video from Ikea:
I quite like this quote, it seems to sum up what I’m trying to say:
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
There’s lots of power in connecting with the field of vision of someone else.