Setting Your Sights When you Have No Sight

I read with interest an article in the Huffington Post that recounted the 1500 meter race at the Rio Paraolympic games.  The top four finishers in the visually impaired category would have beat the Olympic Gold metalist, a very talented Matthew Centrowitz Jr.  Abdellatif Baka, Tamiru Demisse, Henry Kirwa, and Fouad Baka all ran faster than Centrowitz.

The 1500 meter race at the Olympics was very strategic and not necessarily fast.  In fact, Centrowitz was way off his best time and in fact, there are over a dozen high school kids in the US that have ran faster than the time he posted at the Rio Games, but still the achievements of these blind or nearly-blind running is remarkable.

It leaves me with some “what if” questions.

What if these runners had been on the field at the regular Olympic games?  How would they have done?  They certainly were capable of finishing the distance in time.  But without their sight, could they have known their position in the strategic race that left people guessing until the end who would emerge victorious.

How does a blind or visually-impaired runner judge his position on the track?  How does he know if he is in the leading pack or one further back?  How does he pace himself (or herself) in the field that is running that day?  

And what does this have to teach us about the vision and insight we have today about our businesses, products, and projects?  Does having more information make us a better finisher?  Not in all cases. 

I am inclined to agree with Tim Washer speaking at ContentMarketing World who recently concluded “analysis is good, but don’t let it kill a good idea.” At least not all the time.