How Leaders Can See The Big Picture In Their Organizations


    How leaders can see the big picture in their organizations. Design teams often make the mistake of presenting the details of the design before people have had the opportunity to understand how that design enables the broader picture. It is easy for an individual to first look at a design to find his or her own place in it and then to begin to question details of the actual model.

    The behavior of Strategic Thinking 
    Over and over we hear leaders asking their teams to develop and use strategic thinking behaviors to better “see the big picture” as they strive to create more strategic clarity to grow faster and get important work done.  But many workers report struggling to find time to just think – much less to think strategically.

    And the higher you go in an organization, the fewer leaders feel like they have the time to devote to thinking strategically about the big picture.  This can result in a mistake.  Executives cannot afford to work the same way that they did when they were at a lower level because their scope, responsibilities, and expectations have completely changed.

    What is the Big Picture?
    What does the big picture mean and what do you need to do to “see” it?  Strategically, strategic thinking behaviors related to the “big picture”…

    • Involves lateral thinking
    • Relates to the entire perspective of an issue or situation
    • Is broad like the widescreen picture above, not narrow
    • Is comprehensive and overarching, not focused on irrelevant details
    • Includes the most important facts about a matter and the effects on other things
    • Looks at the whole, not just the parts

    The Big Picture and leadership
    In general, organizations count on company executives to have a big picture view and use strategic thinking behaviors to lead.  Because leaders operate at a higher level, executives are often better positioned to see things that are more applicable to the entire company rather than to a specific functional area or project.

    Executive leaders are typically the ones who have the responsibility for making plans for the whole organization, and, therefore, tend to focus on the overall direction rather than the step-by-step tactics designed to get them where they want to go.

    Strategic Thinking Behaviors to Better Invision the Big Picture
    If you aspire to create strategic clarity and, in so doing, move on up the ladder within your organization, here are  strategic thinking behaviors you need to develop:

    1. Look Past the Day-to-day Decisions
      Most of us make multiple decisions every day. Some have big consequences; others have small implications. Big picture thinkers automatically consider the wide-ranging consequences of each decision they make.  They also understand that they don’t operate in a vacuum and that one move leads to another.If you want to improve your strategic thinking behaviors, look beyond your decisions to the effect they will have on others and into the future.
    2. Learn More About What’s Happening Within and Outside Of Your Own Company
      Strategic thinkers tune into what other companies in their marketplace are doing and track trends that might affect their business. To improve your strategic thinking behaviors, know what’s going on in your industry, what customers are saying about what they want and need, what adjustments might make sense in your business to stay ahead of the competition.This means educating yourself about your own company’s situation by reading the annual report, knowing which products and services are in development, and understanding what the KPI’s really mean.
    3. Be Educated On Your Organization’s Purpose, Vision and Culture
      Understand why your company exists.  Be clear about what shapes your company culture and corporate values.Learn what makes your offerings unique from the competition and find out who your company’s best customers are.  And finally, know the top three strategic priorities and how your role fits in.

      When you have a clear understanding of how you and your team directly contribute to the overall picture, it will be tremendously easier to prioritize your actions in a way that promotes the company strategy and aligns with how success is measured and work gets done.

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