Nobody likes a stranger. From a very young age, we’re groomed to believe strangers are a scary group of people out to get us. Whether they are or aren’t, most humans aren’t naturally inclined to welcome in people they don’t know. It’s simply not our nature.

What’s more, we live in a crime-ridden world flooded with swindlers, fanatics and terrorists (an admittedly extreme description). When you turn on the news and are reminded of what’s out there, you’re hardly inspired to welcome in strangers off the streets. And who could blame you?   

But strangers aren’t all bad. The UPS guy is a stranger, and he brings bountiful gifts from Amazon! How bad could he be? Bartenders are often strangers (at first) and they supply us with delicious, inhibition-releasing and often stress-reducing elixirs, giving us the courage to do karaoke, among other things.

Strategists are good strangers. Hell, having a stranger as a strategist is what makes them great. Here’s why.

Challenge the status quo

How many times have you questioned why something is done a certain way only to be answered with, “because we’ve always done it that way?” I can’t think of a more unacceptable answer.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the status quo is the status quo for a reason. But if something even slightly unproductive is happening as a result, it must be challenged.

Strategists come into a business cold with no prior knowledge of what, how and why things are done. They take an in-depth look at everything a business does and why. If any of those “whys” lack merit, the process will be questioned and potentially changed as a result. And that’s a good thing.

Avoid groupthink

According to Psychology Today, groupthink can be defined as:

“When a group of well-intentioned people make irrational or non-optimal decisions that are spurred by the urge to conform or the discouragement of dissent. This problematic or premature consensus may be fueled by a particular agenda or simply because group members value harmony and coherence above rational thinking.”

After reading this definition, you might conclude that groupthink is something you already avoid when making business decisions. But, when you’re in the same office, with the same people, facing similar problems day in and day out, groupthink is inevitable.

Bring a strategist into the mix who’s a stranger to the decision-makers and therefore not affected by the grips of groupthink. They’ll help your team break the cycle of groupthink and start thinking outside the box. A strategist will challenge your team to consider alternatives to every process, producing the most efficient outputs possible.

Eliminate bias

Strategists are experts in strategy. Maybe you’re in the t-shirt business and need a strategist. Your natural inclination is to find a strategist who has experience in a similar field. Don’t waste your time.

Strategists don’t need to know about your industry. Sometimes, it’s better they know nothing about your industry. Much like the status quo within your office, there’s inherent bias when a strategist knows too much about the business you’re in.

The product doesn’t matter. The industry doesn’t matter. What does matter is the strategist has strong business acumen and a willingness to dig deep into your company. Strategists’ killer instincts can be applied to any product and any business You’ve just got to let them.

Stranger doesn’t always mean danger. Let a proven strategist in and give your company the jolt of energetic change it needs. Contact me today to get started!

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