It’s more than obvious that most of us have encountered along our professional path the famous expression: the big picture. Some of us proudly claim that we apply the big picture approach in our day to day work and that this approach helped us successfully develop and achieve our goals. Which is great!
However, the focus of this article is to highlight that there are some essential elements behind the big picture approach which are extremely important in helping an organisation sustain its vision and achieve actual results. We could say that this is the difference between executing and accomplishing.
We are so focused on making things happen that we tend to get carried by the wind and we forget we started our projects with a vision. And then we forget our vision. We reach the finish line and although we might have done a good job, we have the feeling that something is missing. Something is not good enough. And this is because we don’t accomplish things, we execute them.
Achievements and great success emerge from creating and implementing our strategic vision which we can also call the big picture vision.
This process only takes place when we keep doing the good work at the base while overseeing the tower. While we are going through the base road and crossing different paths, we don’t see the overall picture from the top. We can imagine how it is, but without seeing it, we forget about it. We know we have to get there, but we don’t know-how. That’s why we need someone on the top, overseeing the entire path, being able to spot potential challenges, clearly seeing the things we don’t see, the threats, the problems and the solutions as well. Sometimes, we get stuck at a crossroads and we don’t know which way to go next. The top viewer can show us the fastest and easiest way.
If we take a closer look at our day to day work, we can clearly see that this analogy is very real. And we need the big picture view and approach to optimize our work and achieve better results.
We want to show you how you can keep an eye on the big picture while you are performing your most important tasks and why it is important to do it.
Adopt the approach of having a big picture focus and not only a general task one.
We tend to get lost in details when we have too many tasks to manage. Moreover, if we have a management role, we have to manage other people’s tasks as well in connection to ours in order to achieve our goals. This only adds more complexity to our work and we end up focusing on one thing: finish everything on time. But are we going to be satisfied with the end result? Or are we just following a “to do” list and this is it? A “to-do” list is always a good guide, but not for a real accomplishment of our work. If we want to succeed, we need to follow our organization’s strategic vision, therefore, our big picture vision.
Start by going back to your organisational strategic vision and ask yourself some of the big picture approach questions:
- Does my organisation have a vision, a set of values and a business strategy to support the overall working process?
- Is my day to day work still following the organisational vision and the business strategy?
- What are the values that can help me follow the line of that vision and achieve my organisational goals?
- Are my decisions and strategies helping my team perform better?
- Are we supporting our customers through the work we are delivering?
- Does my organisation have obstacles and can I identify the root cause?
- Do I see solutions to my challenges or do I only see issues?
- Did I define a path to reach the end result and achieve my goals?
- Which role do I play in the overall project?
- Do I need help in doing this?
This set of questions are a must to help you adopt the big picture focus and redefine your working strategies and policies.
Having the big picture approach helps you strengthen your skills and develop more competencies
We can easily believe that we have to be in a management position to have a vision and see clearly from the top of the mountain. But anyone can have access to the top of the mountain, not just leaders. In reality, the more we start looking from the top, the better we start performing in our jobs. This view will only enable us to develop other important skills to become more and more successful.
- Focusing on the overall perspective can help you achieve a global perspective – It’s important that you try to understand your organisation’s work, how does your work support other people’s work and eventually impacts the business outcomes and the relationships with the customers. Your work should not be only about doing things but also about why you should be doing things in a certain way.
- Looking at what is missing – I am sure you’ve sometimes had the feeling that your work is incomplete or you can’t achieve a certain result. This is because there is a missing ingredient in the work chain. Ask yourself what is that missing ingredient, talk to your colleagues or manager, brainstorm and try to find out. Just ignoring it, won’t fill the empty slot.
- Identify problems and it’s potential global impact. When we notice a problem in our work, we usually tend to fix it ourselves but we don’t always consider the overall potential impact. It can impact someone else’s work and damage the end result. We don’t do a good job just by doing our job – we are a part of a whole and we should consider all the parties involved when we identify potential risks or challenges. The first solution is to communicate globally and try to find the best approach as a team overseeing the overall project.
Understand that everything is connected and the end result will be achieved as planned only when the “wheels spin at the same time”
We are helping our organisation by doing our job, but we do not support the end result if our work is not consistent with others work. This is why we should have a plan and follow it. And this plan needs to be aligned with the organisational plan. Sometimes we have to respect the rules and the guidelines for everything to work properly and become successful. And there are other times when we have to change our plan for all of this to work. Regardless, in order to have the big picture approach, we should be aware that all the services of an organisation should connect and follow the same guideline in order to lead to results.
OptimizedIT helps you scale your business and build a framework that enables you to become more productive. We help you define your big picture strategy first before executing digital transformation then we help you create the experiences your end-clients desire.