Value #5 Business and Digital Disruption: Perspective
Being a single parent when my daughters Cara and Shannon were toddlers meant keeping them on a schedule and providing for them. Being too busy to enjoy some of the miracles of seeing through a young one’s eyes wasn’t all that unusual. And being blinded by the stresses, trials and tribulations of everyday life meant that even when I wanted to, I couldn’t.
This past Friday I took the day off work and got to slow down a bit accompanying my oldest grandson, Alessio, on his adventures. Going to see the dinosaurs at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) was as much about the journey there and back and giving him freedom to wander around the galleries that caught his interest.
I couldn’t help but notice that as much as we say that ‘childhood is wasted on children’ it was the parents who were rushing around ticking off the requisite destinations and once arriving rushing to and fro making sure to hit all the high points and exhibits. Childhood is more often wasted on them.
As a grandparental I not only have the luxury of time if I wish to take it, but the great advantage of living close to many enriching opportunities, and can seek the opportunities to see the world through a two-year old’s eyes.
The fact that the ant crawling along the cracks of the sidewalk in Queen’s Park was more exciting than the prospect of seeing the dinosaurs at that one point shouldn’t have surprised me. I was fascinated by Alessio’s focus on the insect struggling to climb up and around mountainous boulders in its path that to us were smaller than pebbles. Only when he had satisfied himself by removing the “boulder” was he prepared to move on to his next adventure.
We all move about with blinders on. I’m not sure we could cope with the constant bombardment of stimuli if we didn’t. But if having perspective means having a broad vision, doing so from the tunnel of our own needs, experiences and expectations limits us to the often-heard refrain, “I should have seen that” or “I knew that!”
If there is one value that the advice-giving channel has as a competitive advantage, it is our ability to create and maintain perspective for our clients. It doesn’t serve as a governor or limiter on actions or client behavior (in other words a conscience). Instead we can provide a balance from which to make more informed decisions. What a client does with their money is not my concern, but telling them the consequences of their decisions is.
Blowing past the blinders in social media can be difficult. How far do I push provocation? How blunt do I need to be? What should my image be? If I can’t get past people’s elaborate paradigms, particularly as wholesale change threatens the very foundation of those elaborate mental structures, how can I ask them to see my perspective as valid even though I resorted to some sort of shock approach?
Surfing through my morning social media take, I continue to be surprised by the depth and breadth of “sex, drugs and rock and roll” in messaging. The seven deadly sins, or as a friend, mentor and supervisor from earlier in my career summed it up, “fear, greed and envy” are equally prominent.
My thirst for perspective, whether dealing with the sloppy commodity markets or with the specter of looming interest rate increases, is a combination of experience and an academic thirst for knowledge. Communicating it and blowing past investor’s preconceptions is both a function of making bold statements and using bold imagery.
In fact, of the five values that forms our professional value proposition, it is this one that I work hardest at and yet the images we choose to use have the biggest impact.
But what I cannot do is rely on sex, drugs and rock and roll.
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This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.