This time we take something from the world of psychology and make it more business-like. The post is an extension to my previous post about solution and problem spaces. It will get conceptual 😀

Are you familiar with johari window?

Johari window is a tool to help people understand their relationship with themselves as well as others. Johari window can easily be visualized with a matrix with two axes. Let the figure below talk for itself.

Makes sense?

Johari window is not static since the axes can move over time. For example feedback from others can move the vertical axis towards right and therefore increasing the open area. Sharing your thoughts with others lowers the horizontal axis and makes the hidden area smaller. A thorough explanation about the dynamic aspects can be found behind this link.

So how does this relate to business? Think about “self” as a company and “other” as a partner, supplier or a customer.

And what about solution and problem spaces?

In order to create value-adding solutions we should match solutions with appropriate problems. We can apply johari window into value-adding solutions. This means we insert value-adding solutions as the thing that is or is not known. Some value-adding solutions are known to “self” and “other”, some are unknown for both and some are known only for either one. Knowing about a solution is the first step towards implementation.

If a company wants to have a lot of value-adding solutions that are known to itself it should move the vertical axis towards right by asking questions and getting feedback. A company can lower the horizontal axis by telling about the current situation to an outsider (e.g. consultant). This doesn’t mean that a company should tell everything to everyone, but only to a few selected outsiders. Step 1 would be to tell a consultant about the current state of affairs (and lower the horizontal axis). In Step 2 a consultant can give feedback (and move the vertical axis to the right).

I hope you got something new to think about, take care!