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For firms, organisations and institutions, the big picture goes beyond what’s visible or available at the moment, it opens you up to possibilities that might otherwise remain unnoticed.

Keeping the big picture in mind at all times is the key to confronting current challenges, planning for emerging needs and moving toward your goals. Without a big picture plan in place, it’s easy to lose momentum.

So What Is The Big Picture?

It is not the day-to-day details or a single strategy. It is your ultimate definition of success; your purpose and values.

Understanding your big picture is important because it helps you visualize your destination and the direction you need to take to get there. It also helps you:

  • Respond to obstacles objectively
  • Stay open-minded and ready to identify opportunities
  • Recognize the link between specific projects and broad company goals
  • Find the clarity to make achievable, actionable goals by understanding the larger context
  • Manage your time effectively which helps make project planning more efficient

Ideally, your big picture should have the following elements:

Dreaming big

  • Which attracts the right people, allows you to imagine possibilities and inspires innovation

A clear understanding of your vision and mission

  • Your vision and mission are bigger than project goals, and they provide a benchmark to assess opportunities and ideas

Strategy and critical thinking

  • Create a roadmap: make the future clearer by determining what steps you need to take. As you do this, write down/save every idea or element of your strategy and remember that every situation has more than a single perspective

Fostering team cohesion

  • Your team should be one of your strongest assets and to achieve that, you have to understand who you are as a team; your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Harness the value within the team and let people own their spaces. At the same time, cultivate curiosity and be open to discoveries and experiences
  • Communicate your vision, ideas and enthusiasm appropriately but consider opposing ideas and be open to feedback
  • Adhere to a code and principle to help give your team a clear sense of what they should stand for

Knowing and understanding your stakeholders

  • Understand how each stakeholder affects/contributes to your big picture. This knowledge is vital to effectively addressing their expectations and concerns – it enables you to walk in their shoes.

A future-oriented mindset

  • It’s easy to feel caught up in the present, stuck in today, and unable to think toward tomorrow. Being clear about what the future could hold has the power to encourage innovation and empower your team to take bold decisions.

Seeing the bigger picture is all about charting a winning course, but balancing the big picture with details ensures that you’re not just running forward, you’re running in the right direction.