/ The Co-pilot Perspective

A number of years ago I had a quite a memorable experience.  On a visit to see one of my best friends from Seattle, his roommate, a newly certified amateur pilot, invited us to take an impromptu aerial tour of the city and surrounding area.

Upon accepting the invitation, I naively envisioned boarding an aircraft like the personal corporate jets I saw in the movies. I’d never been on a private aircraft before, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

Of course as we arrived at the community airport hanger, we parked next to a four-seat, single-propeller trainer plane likely born in the 1970s. The plane’s interior was about the size of the car we had just exited. Our “GPS” guidance system was the paper map wedged between the front seats.

I was remarkably calm about the situation until just before we were ready to take off. Our pilot friend had just completed all the required pre-flight checks, but the plane’s engine wouldn’t start. I’ll never forget how he looked over at me and calmly asked, “Would you mind getting out of the plane and yanking down on the propeller to help start the engine?”

Soon after we sputtered down the runway, lifted off, and circled around. With Mount Rainier on the horizon we buzzed over the city, Lake Washington and over Bill Gates’ compound. It was great.

But just as I relaxed a bit, our pilot pointed out a half dozen similar sized planes scattered above, below, and on either side of us.  They seemed to be everywhere, buzzing about in every possible direction. It was crazy!

As he focused on flying the plane, he asked me to navigate us through the traffic. This new assignment was physically and emotionally draining. From that moment on, I could no longer enjoy our little site-seeing trip until our wheels were firmly on the ground.

I could see all the planes in the sky. But what could my pilot see? Of course he saw the one heading right for us…right? What else did he need to know? Were the planes above and below us also something I should point out?

I could see a lot of what I thought was critical information, but I couldn’t process much of it because I was missing the bigger picture of where we were headed. Every piece of information seemed equally concerning. And as a result, my efforts to guide us through the air traffic congestion weren’t particularly productive.

Without perspective, despite my eyes being very wide open, I was flying blind.

For a company to be successful today, co-pilot “operators” need to efficiently keep company pilots “executives” informed. Business leaders need data and insight that’s quick, accurate and relevant.  When flying high in the sky, there is no time for non-relevant information.

But information relevance is often gleaned through a proper perspective. In a business context, this is gained from shared vision, context and access to shared information and insight. Too often, the data was always there. But the proper perspective to act appropriately was missing.

By bringing all key data and insights into one place and on one platform, Domo gives businesses that crucial perspective to keep co-pilots and pilots alike from flying blind.

To learn more about Domo, read “4 Reasons Business Leaders are Flying Blind (And How to Eliminate the Danger).”