Finding the "Wow!"


SETI is a collective term for anything that concerns the search for extraterrestrial life in the universe. SETI asks the question: Is there anyone out there?

In 1955, Ohio State University built a telescope they called “Big Ear” to continuously scan the cosmos for radio signals. It wasn’t until 1977 that Jerry Ehman, a project volunteer, witnessed a startlingly strong signal received by the telescope. On the computer printout of the data he famously wrote “Wow!” in the margin.

It only happened once. But they heard it. They heard it because they were actively listening.

A couple weeks ago we conducted a strategy offsite with a client in Canada. She has a interconnected series of brands and wanted clarity on the best way to organize and grow her businesses. 

We didn’t approach the session with a specific point of view or predetermined answers. What we did was ask the right questions. And then we listened. 

When you actively listen - a mysterious and convoluted problem can be distilled into a clear signal. At the end of the day, the wall was covered with giant Post-It notes. On the last one we wrote “Wow!” in the margin.