A reader had a question about trying to figure out the order to do things. He asked, “You talked about the big picture, what is it?
Let’s explore two examples. The first is something we can do as a result of seeing the big picture and the second is getting a glimpse of how the big picture works.
Walk into the corporate office of one of the worlds largest employers in the world and say, “The algorithm for your HR management software is broke. Here is how it needs to work.” Mind you, I don’t know anything about the industry and I don’t need to know. A team was assembled to initially create the software which was implemented throughout 1,400 offices nationwide. They are all broke, worse yet, they are all linked together.
The best way to explain ‘how things work’ is understanding how something ‘needs to work.’ In this case, it was not necessary to look any further than people, which coincidentally is what the software manages.
The Approach: What is the objective?
The Strategy: Here is how to achieve it.
If certain things are not present, whatever it is will not work as expected. A tell-tale indicator is problems. Problems suggest something is not working right. How is it possible the team overlooked a major flaw in the algorithm? That kind of stuff happens all the time, who knows. It’s the same kind of thing we experience with social media metrics and what people think is important versus what is important.
Generally, most people focus on the wrong metrics. They focus on weak metrics, thinking they are strong, because they have a false sense of value of the metric. Its a huge problem for another post. Things just work when we can clearly see the big picture.
Are you having a difficult time managing time? Not sure where to focus? Not sure how to prioritize? The big picture tells us how. It would be similar to pulling out the schematics on how all things are connected, their subsets, and their functions. In its simple form, to open a safe, we go through a series of left and right motions of the dial in a particular order. One small mistake, one wrong turn, and the safe will not open.
Let’s take a look at another example.
Let’s say you have a stack of 10 cards in front of you. Each card has the name of each segment of our business. Your job is to write a number on the back from 1 to 10 on each card to represent the importance of each segment of our business.
I’ll use an example I saw recently on my timeline, (hiring, organization, sales, leads, production). 10 is the most important and 1 being least important. Now stack the cards according to their importance. I would be willing to bet we would stack the cards different.
Seeing the big picture allows us to see how the cards should be stacked, not how we think they should be stacked. Let’s say your current challenges are hiring, organizing, closing, and getting more leads. Seeing the big picture allows us to identify one thing that fixes all four and much more. That one thing is more important and will have a higher numerical value in the stack.
If we do this, then this occurs.
Here’s another example. Building a house has many stages and within each stage, many things occur. Seeing the big picture allows us to know what needs to happen first each step of the way, how to organize the trades, etc., so it all comes together in the end. Hopefully without too many issues. Obviously the important thing here is similar to opening a safe. We need to know the combination in order to turn the dial.