Seeing the Big Picture

Be aware of how much of the “Big Picture” you and your direct reports see. A common mistake in organizations trying to improve is the assumption that everyone gets it.  The diagram below shows how our scope of vision (how much of the “big Picture” we see) can be affected by our place in the organization.  

Top Down View

This phenomenon leads to sub-optimization and silo’ing. For example, one department applies 5-S strategy by moving their stuff into someone else’s area, or throws something important away.  Another group optimizes a value stream at the expense of other value streams, or the business in general. Buy-in is weak at best. 

We overcome this by communicating. Make sure your group understands the relevance their work has on the big picture.   This is a process of adding the “Why” to the dialog.  Take the time to explain why we do the things we do. You may discover that you don’t know “why” either. This is a good thing.  

If you do this, you’ll discover a diversity of opinion.  This is not a problem.  In fact it is healthy.  Leverage the intelligence of the collective.