Is Seeing the Big Picture Smart?

Big Pix

There are two camps, those who see the big picture and those who are detailed oriented. There are some individuals who are lucky enough to see both the big picture and not lose sight of the details. The difference between these two skills is that being detailed oriented is more about having a focused eye on tasks. The big picture falls more into the strategic side of business. Which is more important? It depends.

Many CEOs and other executives think that they should be the only ones who are capable of or who need to see the big picture and that line employees just need to concentrate on the details or the tasks at hand. Is this smart?

If line employees don’t know the company goals, how can they help in achieving those goals? They are literally working blindly with heads down, eyes focused on one or two tasks and that’s it. There’s no understanding of how to work on the business. They only work in the business and many employees feel that’s enough. But is it enough to help achieve organizational goals?

Employee Engagement: According to a recent Gallup Poll only about 13% of employees are highly engaged at work. Disengaged employees can adversely affect the big picture. Organizations sometimes forget that work is a social process when comes to projects and teams. Think: Typically work is not done in isolation and people need to feel that their work is important. They want to understand how it contributes to the bigger picture and how what they do fits into the overall goals of the organization. Knowing and understanding these goals can be a huge motivating factor. Using technology can bring about both knowledge of goals, the socialization, and engagement most organizations only dream about.

Share Core Values: Your core values are, or certainly should be, a part of the organization’s big picture. Be sure to share these with everyone as knowing these helps create a sense of ownership. This provides incentives for people to work harder toward goals.

Communicate the Big Picture: While you don’t want to tell everything about a business, letting your employees know the general goals and big picture will increase engagement, ownership, and productivity. Employees need to have an understanding of what they are working toward to act as a guide and an incentive. Bringing employees “into the fold” with this information will also create trust. Employees will often come up with ideas to help move the organization closer to its goals.

Are YOU Seeing the Big Picture? Seeing the big picture is an element making up systems thinking. According to the Waters Foundation at “A systems thinker ‘steps back’ to examine the dynamics of a system and the interrelationships among its parts. S/he sees the forest, rather than the details of any one tree.” According to their modules, there are questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you are seeing the big picture.

  1. “How can I maintain balance between the big picture and important details?”
  2. “What time frame should be considered as I view the system?”
  3. “Am I keeping my focus on areas of influence, rather than on areas of concern that I cannot influence?"

So the details are not to be ignored, but a balance should be maintained between details and the larger view of any system. These help achieve organizational goals. Smart.

Than you for reading this lbog. If your organiztin would like more information on how to see the big picture call 404-320-7834 or emial This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Graqphic Credit:

Business Growth