The view-from-the-inside phenomenon: a leader’s dilemma

Of the many challenges that the leader of an organization faces, the view-from-the-inside problem is particularly confounding. By virtue of his or her designation, the leader should take decisions with conviction, This demands that at some point they should consider the view of the future based on which they take the decision to be absolute.

However, the fact remains that the aforementioned view is a personal perspective, and as with any such perspective could be flawed. It’s in the gap between this dichotomy that the view-from-the-inside phenomenon arises.


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The view-from-the-inside phenomenon sabotages organization’s future


Understanding view-from-the-inside phenomenon

To best understand the view-from-the-inside phenomenon, let’s look at an imaginary scenario. Consider that you are sitting inside a cylindrical structure with a hollow centre. You are not sure where you are- you wake up and you find that somehow you are in this particular space which looks circular, or cylindrical based on its inside.

Now, imagine that this cylindrical structure is further covered with a cubical structure from the outside- and this cube has fun mirrors- the kind which you see in fair etc., on its sides. In fact, this whole thing is present in a funfair for children. 

The internal cylinder is just a support system to keep the external cube erect.

Now, your view-from-the-inside is that you are in a cylinder. But for someone looking from the outside, it’s a cube of mirrors. From a commercial vantage point, it’s this latter aspect which is the most important. And as you have seen, it’s precisely this latter aspect which you lose sight of with the view-from-the-inside. 

Reasons behind the problem

In an organizational context, the mentality of the view-from-the-inside could develop due to multiple reasons. For one thing, the leader could get caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day operations that seeing anything beyond the circle of those operational parameters become hard. Another reason could be lack of veracity in the information that you access to make decisions.

It’s human nature that our viewpoint gets influenced by the kind of information that we have about what we are looking at. For instance, imagine that a respectable looking man has moved into your neighborhood. You smile at him when you run into him on the streets, and may even exchange pleasantries. But a few days later, the person commits a heinous crime in your locality.

Once you learn about this, your mental image of that person is altered, perhaps irrevocably. The next time you see him, you look at him in a different light.

The same thing happens with your view of the future- the perception often getting narrow if the information you rely on to frame that future(be it from a third-party research or personal adviser) is not up to the mark.

However, such issues that contributes to the view-from-the-inside problem could be tackled, if only the leader recognises these to be significant issues.

On the other hand, there’s something which could get a change agent trapped in that narrow view for good- and that is a bigger challenge to tackle: the challenge of an absence of vision.

True Personal Vision




True Personal Vision is your innate vision that could only be found in your self and nowhere else. The beauty of this vision is not limited to its uniqueness- something that is found in just one person among the billions of people on the planet- but also in its wide arc. 

By wide arc, it’s meant that your vision could be both vast and compelling enough for it be form the basis of your strategies for the company’s future. Also, by nature, the vision gives you the true perspective of your firm’s potential- something like seeing the destination and not mistaking the vehicle you travel to it to be the destination itself. This breaks you free from the shackles of the view-from-the-inside problem.

Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos Vision Lab which helps you realize your True Personal Vision. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience, it incorporates proprietary tools to help change agents along the path of discovery. Also, some of the best leadership coaches in business help you in the process.

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