Leading from the biggest picture?

Ever wondered what it is that highly effective leaders do to improve performance, even in the most difficult situations? Too many leadership and motivational gurus would have you believe all people need is to be given stretch targets. There is no one such silver bullet. As we saw in my last blog we all have our own reasons for doing something. We further saw the factors that were revealed by Frederick Herzberg's research that increased people's satisfaction at work. It further helps if work and the direction a company is heading is worthwhile and believable. In particular it can help to work towards an inspiring compelling vision of a ever-better total customer experience.

As a leader of an organisation, you are responsible for taking action that moves your organisation in that better direction. This needs a sound foundation, a critical part of which is an understanding of the whole situation or biggest picture. The word biggest is used here to encourage you to really push to discover as much as you can.

Back in the twentieth century, Royal Dutch Shell called this the helicopter view, which is a helpful metaphor. It serves to remind you need to both 'gain altitude' to obtain your biggest picture and 'dive down' into the detail to apply that knowledge of the context in your actions and decision making.

The three c's of customers, your company and competition, guide your scanning of the whole landscape. Remember also to look at the whole environment as well. Look at these factors over time. Where has the present biggest picture come from historically, are there new insights available now, and where are things heading over the next five to ten years?

Thinking is very difficult work. Especially when it comes to developing and applying strategy to move forward. It helps you, as a leader, therefore to have knowledge and understanding of the whole situation or biggest picture as a starting point. Have a great flight!

Next time we will begin to look some more at the Flow & Feedback Diagram as a way of making visible your company in the context of your customers and your external environment.