@David Amerland, in chapter one of your book, “The Sniper Mind – “Seeking A Competitive Advantage”, you often referred to Ghost Dog or Craig Harrison overcoming and taking advantage their minds and retreating into thoughts of comfort. I’m curious if that would be classified under Normalcy Bias Syndrome or Cognitive Dissonance? Perhaps there is an even more exact term in Psychology?
I know that sometimes I have given up on marketing and consulting because it seemed that no matter what I had done, I just could not make enough of an impact to be authoritative and trusted enough to be hired for consulting work. Chapter One is really opening my eyes to train my mind to see past these obstacles or reflectiveness and persevere.
Perhaps I need a dream board full of images that envision where I want to be right now?
Denver, that’s an excellent question. Both Normalcy Bias Syndrome and Cognitive Dissonance deal with internal tension in the mind when it is subconsciously aware of a specific disconnect that exists even when we refuse to acknowledge it. A classic example being of a troubled relationship with one’s parents that then makes us willingly blind to their getting old and frail because we would then need to acknowledge several other things:
- A. Their passing before our issues are resolved.
- B. Our responsibility to them as they get older
- C. Our own limitations and fallibilities
- D. The way we reconcile all this (or fail to) in our mind.
The retreat that the brain presents us with has to do with Cognitive Load both intrinsic, as we struggle to deal with the situation we face, and extraneous as conditions are imposed upon us. The brain’s instant coping mechanism in this situation is to switch off. To daydream, go to sleep, seek instant comfort. It takes awareness and a deep sense of self plus some training to overcome this, harden our resolve and face what it is that is troubling us.
That’s an excellent question. I am going to preface my answer by saying that processes, which are designed to allow us to work under pressure with minimal margins of error, unexamined become blindspots which will trip us up because we’ve become confident in their effectiveness. This then brings us back to your “standard operating procedures” question. If the environment within which this happens is fixed and experiences zero change then those procedures always remain the same.
We are, right now, in a world of extremely rapid change. That change impacts everything. Even if, we assume, an industry where the clientele never changes and the product (or service) also needs to remain the same, nevertheless the raw materials, whatever they might be (physical or digital) will themselves experience change because the physical and digital world are changing so quickly. This means that in order to remain effective, every set of “standard operating procedures” needs to have a way of checking itself, disrupting itself and seeing how it truly measures up. This is a mindset that has to be created and then maintained. “The Sniper Mind” explains the need for such mindset and how to best achieve it.
In a very practical sense it helps prioritize when under pressure by enabling us to understand how to assess what is happening. Situational awareness (and situational analysis) require higher executive thinking. Higher functions in the brain get shut down when under stress, so being able to better manage all that and control everything can only happen when we operate differently inside our head. Business managers who maintain standard operating procedures have to constantly do more with less in terms of manpower and resources. Learning how to create solutions that work under constrained circumstances and still remain flexible requires us to think differently.
David, this book would be well-suited for business managers who maintain standard operating procedures. What cures might surface after reading your book?