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How to get out of the weeds and gain perspective

by Katherine Hunter on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 6:02 AM
How has work been going for you lately? Busy? Frustrated because things are not moving along as quickly as you had hoped? Distracted by so many little things that the big things never get the time or attention needed? It is far too easy to get so focused on the task at hand we lose sight of the overall picture. The solution? Look up. Let me explain…



With our heads down into the daily tasks we are only able to focus on what is directly in front of us. Problems seem to us, to come unbidden from some unseen source intent on disrupting our focus. When our vision is limited, we are blind-sided by the slightest change and the default reactions are generally not in our best interest. Constantly responding to one crisis after another keeps us in reactive mode dampening the capacity for creative problem solving. So while a vacation may sound like the answer, going away doesn’t solve the underlying problem. What is needed is some perspective and community, and these do not necessarily involve airline tickets.



Try this. Imagine a new way of doing business. What does it look like? What attributes does it have? Seriously, take a minute and make some notes. It makes a difference when you write it down. Envision the perfect environment and see yourself actively participating in it. What does it feel like? What can you do now that you couldn’t before? Ask your co-workers to do the same. What is their perspective? These questions create the space for a new way to be at work. When coworkers can see themselves participating in a new vision that includes clarity, trust, teamwork, and collaboration they become owners of this new vision and are motivated to make it a reality.



The intent of this visioning process is to reconnect the organization with what gives it definition as a community. Through creating stronger relationships, the organization learns more of how the interconnections need to operate across departmental or functional areas. This knowledge about what is needed prior to and subsequent to any operation increases the accountability of each member. The extent to which the inputs and outputs are defined, managed, and communicated is the extent to which coworkers are empowered to troubleshoot and diagnose their own problems.



Healthy processes create healthy relationships. When workers can depend upon each other to share information and collaborate on problem solving, ideas that have meaning create an energy and excitement that inspires collaboration and shared success. Focusing on the process of how connections are made across the organization and the decisions that arise from those interconnections is, I propose, more important than the actual solution. For when work is infused with meaning and good communication, the free-flow of ideas and energy move throughout the organization. Good problem solving processes develop the capacity of communal resiliency. It is not so much the answer you get, but rather the way you get the answer that defines success. Look up, the answer may be sitting in the next office.

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Katherine Hunter

Katherine has completed three advanced degrees in human behavior including a doctorate in Transformational Psychology. She is passionate about transformation: transformation of business, company culture and individuals. Katherine believes that the success of an organization is directly proportional to the passion of the individuals to make a difference and works with clients to leverage teamwork and collaboration as key components of sustainable performance.

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