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Use the entire spectrum to watch and listen, not just the part you’re used to

April 21, 2014

One of the things I learned working with military technology is that it exploits parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that is out of the normal range we have evolved to use. Visible light is only a very small part of the EM spectrum. However, radio uses much longer wave lengths to communicate over great distances. Microwaves are useful for directional communication of large quantities of data. Radar uses another part of the spectrum to enable all-weather detection and navigation. Infrared radiation gives vision in a part of the spectrum just below the visual bands. Sound is also used as a means of detection as well as direction and rande finding. For instance, there are acoustic detectors that can find the source of artillery fire, and acoustic sensors that can detect vehicle noise. There are even seismic sensors that can detect and characterise ground vibrations of vehicles.

All of this shows that you have to get out of your normal means of seeing and hearing in order to become aware of the wider world around you. If you’re in the dark about something, you have to wonder what you’re missing. And therein lies the risk. Find a way to listen and look at parts of your particular spectrum that you haven’t explored before.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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