We seem to spend a lot of time encouraging people to think of the big picture.
This thinking is critical to the way we work together for a number of reasons:
Visualising the big picture enables the setting of future directions
Talking about the big picture enables a change in mindset about current activities
Working towards the big picture facilitates the achievement of real change
There are some problems with using big picture thinking as your only strategy for solving problems. Whilst big picture thinking is elevating, there are inherent risks if you are not careful.
Thinking too big can fool us into changing everything
Changing everything is slow, risky and likely to fail
We abdicate responsibility for the change that is within our control…
So real change does not happen.
The most common strategies (we see) when dealing with problems…
BIG PICTURE – rail against the system, complain against the injustice, hope that things will change
NITTY GRITTY – make the best of the situation you have been placed in, thinking creatively about how to do your best, but never highlighting the things that don’t work
As standalone strategies these are flawed, but imagine if you combined them.
Think of the big picture
Draw attention to current failings, and
Get the most out of working with what you have got
Be concerned about the big picture and influence at a level you can control.