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|Friday, September 06, 2013|
BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR
I was recently asked:
The feedback from my performance review is that while I am competent, I ‘miss the forest for the trees’. Working on this is crucial for me to get into executive ranks.
What advice do you have for me to sharpen my big-picture skills?
How to Learn to See the Big Picture
You’re trying to develop a skill, a way of thinking and seeing.
The most effective way to do that seems to be, to do it for a focused period of time — every few days. Like learning a foreign language or a musical instrument, you’re trying to build new brain circuits. For that you need attention and repetition.
Here’s my suggestion.
First Make some Educated Guesses
Before each (say) weekly staff meeting, take a big sheet of paper and create a grid of rows and columns. Along one axis, put departments or interest groups around the firm (plus maybe customers and vendors). And, add one for “the whole firm.” Along the other axis, put the topics being brought up at the meeting.
In the intersections you’ve created, try to make some educated guesses — and write a few words that will capture the spirit of how that particular department VIEWS or IS IMPACTED BY that topic.
Next, Check Your Work
Now, during the meeting, see if those stakeholders do in fact have the views, or face the impacts, that you guessed.
Mark down their actual responses next to your guesses.
This technique provides you with three things:
Bonus fourth value:
My colleague Mark Hurwich suggests:
Tom Cox is a Beaverton consultant, author and speaker. He coaches CEOs on how to boost performance by building workplace trust.
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Yesterday, a divided National Labor Relations Board dropped another hammer on the employer community. In a long-awaited and much debated move, the Board jettisoned the decades old standard for determining when two independent businesses should be considered joint employers of an individual worker for collective bargaining purposes.
Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
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