Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Seeing The Bigger Picture

You have certainly heard the expression, "can't see the forest for the trees." The statement implies that someone focuses completely on the tactical items and has a difficulty or fault in observing the big picture.

But how can you avoid being the person having difficulty seeing the forest? What if you are the one scratching on the bark of an elm tree and telling everyone it is important? Here are some questions that can help you get to a bigger vision.

Is this part of something bigger?

This question seems like a no-brainer, but the key isn't in asking it. Rather, the key is in continuing to ask it. I got in a discussion the other day with a coworker who was talking about a project and making the claim that it was bigger than what we were discussing. I agreed, but indicated it was also bigger than what she was saying it was. My guess: it was bigger even than my description. Ask the question of whether your idea or project belongs to some higher calling repeatedly, and you should devote yourself to the larger image, not the individual objective.

Can I make it bigger?

Just because something is not already part of something bigger does not mean that you cannot ask it to be so. You might even take a few stabs at how you could make your current question part of a larger picture if it isn't. Increasing by 10%? Add a zero. Gaining some efficiencies within a department?What would it take to eliminate the department? Asking yourself to look outside your current scope helps to frame the conversation correctly.

What is preventing me from seeing a broader view?

Acknowledge that something prevents you from seeing everything at once. Got a cool mastery of your product? How is it doing outside your region? Your country? What is your limiting factor in the knowledge of viewpoint that you hold? Acknowledging that you are limited in some ways helps propel your mind beyond your own limitations. Recognize them and move on.

Sometimes, seeing a big picture  helps shape the remainder of your actions around a topic.

What is your best way to deal with uncertainty?What happens when or if part of all of gets thrown together? I'd love to hear your best technique or question for kicking it up a notch.

Image credit: Memory Catcher via Pixabay