In ophthalmology, tunnel vision stands for a concentric narrowing of the field of vision to a central remainder ( Wikipedia ). You will surely notice that yourself: as soon as you do something for a while, you get the famous tunnel vision and lose sight to the left and right.

Our body switches to such tunnel vision in 2 situations. On the one hand, as soon as the body isolates itself from other influences and stimuli in order to protect itself and on the other hand, after a while in a project, you cannot see the forest for the trees. The view is only just about.

The tunnel vision blocks the view of opportunities

Problem: The tunnel view for managers

You know it: you suggest a tip to managers, but they don’t listen to it. The head of department, who has been in charge of the department for many years, has run the risk of tunnel vision for many years.

The greatest danger is avoidable mistakes. This is promoted by the fact that perception is limited and public solutions are barely seen. Another problem is the isolation through tunnel vision – the isolation of new solutions such as Scrum or new tools. The status quo and tried and tested solutions are used. The defined goal is adhered to under all circumstances, although it may no longer make sense.

In the course of my doctoral thesis, my experts who worked with me recommended that after 5 years you should change jobs or the team leader, because you are too strong in tunnel vision. A new boss always brings fresh ideas with him. Many corporations also change managers every 5 years.

Tips against tunnel vision

The first step should be to combat the causes: Get away from stress and everyday life. See the situation from a new perspective and, above all, include feedback from employees. Let your best employees work out suggestions and give them the freedom to implement them.

I am often aware of my tunnel vision. My tip: For example, whenever a process is criticized, I immediately have one of my project managers work out a proposal and organize a workshop. Then he can implement the process together with me. I experience a high level of creativity and motivation in my area. Give it a try!

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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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