Back in 2002 the media did their usual frenzied attack on Donald Rumsfeld after he introduced them to the conept of “Known Unknowns” and “Unknown Unknowns”:
“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones”
His response was ridiculed by many but he was essentially trying to convey the concept introduced back in the 1950s and often referred to as the Johari window.
Why I use the Johari Window
I find this really useful when thinking about risks to business. In my opinion all businesses should be aiming to minimise the size of their “blind spot”. As a company specialising in IT Support for business our potential blind spots are massive given they include:
- Daily advances in technology
- Changes in compliance and legislation
- And that hot topic changing on an hourly basis called “Cyber Security”
Even when utilising the knowledge of many staff it is obviously not possible to know everything about these three massive areas of technology. However, if it was possible to capture 100% and reduce the blind spot down to zero it is of little use unless it could be shared with the decision makers of our customer’s businesses.
Why knowledge needs to be shared
Why do I say this? Well information known to me but not known to you exists in the area known as a “façade” and businesses have a tendency to not invest in what appears to be deceptive.
Essentially business is done in the area know as the “Arena” where we all understand the value of the knowledge. It is for this reason I will be spending the next few weeks talking about cyber security. There are significant cyber “blind spots” for many businesses and these are being actively exploited by criminal gangs and state sponsored groups on an increasing basis. Unfortunately many businesses still believe their business is too “small” to warrant the attention of these groups. However, most of the attack is automated which means even the smallest of businesses with one person turning a few thousand pounds a month is still at risk.
What would you consider to be your biggest “blind spot” and how are you planning on reducing its size?
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