Top of Mind Thursday – February 16, 2023: Bursting the Bubble

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Nearly two weeks ago, the US military shot down a presumed Chinese spy balloon over water after it crossed North America.

Since then, American forces have shot down three more unidentified flying objects–all of them smaller than the first, and none immediately identifiable.

Do we have a new flurry of foreign surveillance? Could these be alien or extra terrestrial in nature? Is there a new threat to our existence or way of life?

Or, might we just be finding more of these things because we’re now looking for them?

At least one of the most recent objects may turn out to be one of our own weather balloons. Whoops.

Here’s what happens when you focus your attention on a specific thing: you start to notice all of those things in your environment. If we talked about big black SUVs, you’d likely start to notice all of the big black SUVs you pass while driving. That doesn’t mean there are more of them–just that you are noticing them.

This is a serious concern with medical imaging. Better technology means radiologists see more anomalies on a scan–but that doesn’t mean they detect more malignancies. Most of these are benign and may have been there forever–we just didn’t used to be able to see them.

The key to staying sane through this is to have a good process to separate out what might be a critical piece of data that requires action–and what is just noise that is distracting and might need to unnecessary or even dangerous actions.

In your business, do you know how to identify the critical information that shows you action is needed? Or are you spending too much time chasing down stray balloons?

Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

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