Wed 10 July 2019
It’s one of the most business-related, jargony, non-phrases out there: take a look at the bigger picture. We all know that we should be looking past the small, day-to-day tasks, and appreciating larger, more life-changing things. But when is the right time to change our thinking in this way? Should we have been doing it all along? Rebecca from Wundamail is here to talk through precisely when managers should “think big”, and why it’s so important to do so.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have somehow been able to avoid the management buzzword-filled office conversations, then you’ll be more than aware of the concept of thinking big or seeing the bigger picture. Despite being a popular square on team meeting bingo, the phrase “big picture” is often overused but rarely actually heeded by managers and team members alike.
Thinking big doesn’t necessarily mean having unrealistic ideas and dreams, or living in a fantasy, it can simply refer to where you want to be in one year, or three years down the line. It can be a personal or an organisation-wide thing. If your big thinking is organisational, then it should realistically be the act of connecting your daily tasks to your wider and larger strategy and vision. This is something that, as a manager, should be at the heart of any team meeting or project brief. For example, “how does this link back to our bigger picture, our vision?”. It should be the beginning and end of any task, no matter how small - it all adds up.
When we speak about “thinking big” in a professional setting, managers should start as soon as they have a strategy and vision to “think big” towards. Even if you don’t, think about where you’d like to see your team, your department, even your entire business this time next year. What’s the dream scenario? Then break it down into steps to make that dream a reality. This is your project plan for the next year. Though “thinking big” can often seem like some gargantuan, mythical challenge that is rarely visible in practice, this shouldn’t be the case. Think big, act big, and get to where you want to go.
It can be more difficult to approach “thinking big” on a personal level. As a manager, you can point our teams in the direction that they need to go, but we’re often so preoccupied with managing the day-to-day things, and putting out the little fires, that time can pass us by and we rarely get the chance to imagine a “bigger picture for yourself. Perhaps at one point you thought you wanted to run your own business, or reach a certain position by a certain age, or desperately wanted to try your luck in an entirely different sector, Did you originally see this job as simply a stepping stone?
When it comes to deciding precisely when to start “thinking big” in your career, you should question not when you should start, but why you ever stopped. Often, we go into new jobs or look for new roles with a more ambitious life plan or goal in mind, or a passion, which is left abandoned in favour of getting through the day, or the premise of being secure.
Thinking big is something that we should all be doing, regardless of whether we’re managers, team members or even CEOs. Everyone is looking for that next step towards their end goal, and, realistically, most people have a rough idea what that is or what they’d like it to be. It’s increasingly difficult, however, to always keep it front of mind when you’re fixing emergencies in the present moment. But ask yourself this: in five years time, are you going to be content with your progression or are you still going to be fighting those same fires? Thinking big and appreciating the wider implications of your actions holds the secret to any plan: personal, business-based, or otherwise.
Statistically, you’re much more likely to achieve a goal if you can see it, and therefore identify a path towards achieving it. With Wundamail, managers have a clear overview of what their whole team is doing. Wundamail shows you the bigger picture of team activity, so that you can ensure they’re still on track and aligned with the company strategy and business. All you have to do is ask a simple question, and you’ll get an informed update from every member of your team in return. Having a clear, automatic feedback loop allows leaders to keep tabs on progress, while giving team members the space to innovate, push projects forward and think for themselves. Wundamail is the simplest way to support the whole group to “think big” - managers included.