Is your company being held back by business blind spots? Most organizations have at least one or two hidden vulnerabilities — ones that can lead to harmful outcomes such as employee discord and distrust.
However, there is good news. As long as you’re willing to recognize the existence of blind spots within your organization, it’s possible to turn things around.
In this analysis, we delve into the world of business blind spots to examine their impact and methods for overcoming them.
What are organizational blind spots?
Business blind spots are unrecognized weaknesses that threaten to hinder progress. They usually occur in areas related to financial, operational and strategic aspects of business, and are defined by their likelihood to prevent growth and innovation.
Blind spots can be caused by external factors, such as fast-shifting market trends, or internal decisions, such as a lack of proper financial planning. Regardless of the cause, the outcome is always the same: Left unchecked, business blind spots increase your risk of burnout, disengagement and turnover.
What happens when you ignore blind spots in business?
It’s one thing to be unaware of blind spots — some issues are hard to spot even in the most progressive company cultures. But once you discover them, fast response is key. Choosing to overlook what’s now a tangible issue can lead to significant consequences.
Organizations that fail to address blind spots are more likely to experience financial setbacks, operational inefficiencies and missed growth opportunities. The result is uninformed decisions that hinder innovation and can ultimately undermine the company's long-term viability.
5 common blind spots in business and how to address them
Wondering what blind spots may exist at your organization? Most fall into five common categories. Familiarizing yourself with each of these areas is the best way to identify and address blind spots, and to prevent them from surfacing again.
1. Financial blind spots
Financial blind spots can occur when business owners are not fully aware of the company’s financial situation. This includes cash flow as well as overall profitability and financial health. Failure to monitor financial blind spots can lead to excessive debt, poor investment decisions or even insolvency.
How to address financial blind spots: To avoid these pitfalls, leadership should regularly conduct detailed financial analyses and leverage financial management tools to identify issues as they arise — and to keep them from turning into bigger problems.
For example, most organizations spend thousands of dollars (or more) on duplicate and unused SaaS applications. By using a SaaS management platform to audit and identify those extra costs, you can eliminate blind spending and free up funds to reinvest in the business.
2. Communication blind spots
Whether it’s because they need help managing workloads or want more remote support, employees need to hear from managers. Unfortunately, many managers overestimate their ability to communicate effectively. Which is a shame, because uncommunicative managers are often perceived as bad bosses — and can even cause people to quit. Being too busy to have open conversations about team issues, failing to provide enough guidance on projects and adopting an heir of superiority can all lead to harmful communication blind spots.
How to address communication blind spots: The best way to identify communication blind spots? Spend more one-on-one time with team members. For example, if you notice that employee performance is starting to decline and deadlines are being missed, consider the possibility you’re not clearly communicating expectations. By taking time to meet individually with each member, you can uncover and address those hidden roadblocks.
3. Capacity blind spots
Workforce capacity is directly tied to business performance and ROI. However, many managers struggle to get this critical process right. Overextend your workforce, and performance will suffer. But compensate too much in the other direction, and you’ll overpay for resources you don’t need. And it can be very difficult to understand exactly how much capacity each team member has on any given day.
How to address capacity blind spots: To prevent overworking or underworking employees, create a process for regularly assessing and addressing workforce capacity. Workforce analytics software can show you exactly how many hours employees are working and when they start to become overextended. Some platforms will even send you alerts when team members start to show early signs of burnout so you can address the underlying capacity issues right away.
4. Operational blind spots
Operational blind spots are often caused by inefficiencies or weaknesses in daily activities. These blind spots can be rooted in inadequate processes, ineffective resource allocation or a lack of transparency within an organization. Sometimes, it’s caused by data silos that make it difficult for different departments to collaborate. In other instances, employees can’t get the information they need in a timely manner due to red tape or inefficient procedures.
How to address operational blind spots: Addressing operational blind spots requires a holistic evaluation of workflows to reveal bottlenecks and make improvements. Improving operational efficiency involves a lot more than just cutting costs. You’ll need a thorough understanding of how the organization operates. For this reason, it’s important to remove any guesswork, ideally with productivity monitoring software capable of providing real-time data on how individuals, teams and departments operate on a daily basis.
5. Strategic blind spots
Strategic blind spots occur when organizations fail to anticipate or adapt to industry trends, market shifts, or emerging technologies. These blind spots can stifle innovation, hinder growth, and result in loss of competitive advantage.
How to address strategic blind spots: To combat strategic blind spots, market analysis is crucial. And this research shouldn’t be a once-in-a-while activity. Put a process in place to regularly assess where your business stands in relation to competitors and the industry at large. This is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve and recognize strategic blind spots for what they are.
Identify blind spots in your business with ActivTrak
Uncovering blind spots is a crucial step toward long-term success in an ever-evolving competitive landscape. That’s why ActiTrak places such a high priority on workforce analytics. With real-time insights on how, when and where employees work — and what empowers them to do their best work — it’s remarkably easy to address blind spots.