Peripheral Vision

June 27, 2023
By Lynn Miyahira
people looking through binoculars

Lynn Miyahira is vice president of public affairs at iQ 360.

 

Among the more interesting observations about the new $3500 Apple Vision Pro is that it eliminates the user’s peripheral vision; everything Apple engineers have decided you need is placed right in front of you. The impact this will have on Apple’s revenues remains to be seen, but for those of us living in the real world, peripheral vision is often the key to survival.

 

Woman sitting on couch with VR headset on reading a Los Angelas Times article.

As described in a recent paper in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, “Peripheral vision…provides information that is essential for a vast range of tasks in everyday life… Our environment sometimes changes in an unpredictable manner, and the relevant information may not be localized to a single location.”

This is also true metaphorically. In the business world, if your team or the agencies and consultancies you’re working with view the dynamics of your business solely through a specific professional lens – say, brands, or markets, or digital media, or earned media, or legislation – you may be prone to risks that fall outside of those domains.

An instructive example arose this spring involving Anheuser-Busch InBev (the makers of Bud Light), where decisions made by a highly credentialed brand team cost the company and its shareholders billions because those decisions weren’t informed by perspectives that would have been obvious to a team that was better attuned to the socio-political environment of its target audience.

 

"Today, easy access to information – not to mention misinformation – renders transparency a simple fact."

 

To mitigate such risks, successful executives take the widest possible view of a situation. They actively consider the full complement of stakeholders, working to understand the various forces that influence the opinions and behavior of customers, partners, suppliers, investors, community members and policy makers. And they use that perspective to formulate strategies that enable the business to advance while minimizing risk.

This – what we call 360-degree intelligence – is absolutely essential for success in the highly regulated industries where we do much of our work. And it’s increasingly important in less-heavily regulated businesses as well, where transparency is sometimes viewed as optional. Today, easy access to information – not to mention misinformation – renders transparency a simple fact. It’s never good to walk into a lamp post, but it’s especially important to avoid it when people are watching. To mitigate business risk, pay attention to your peripheral vision.

 

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