In this lesson, we'll review the concept of understanding the big picture in the workplace and discuss the various benefits and advantages of having this knowledge.
The Big Picture
Imagine that you are working as an employee in an empty building with nothing posted on the outside. You are in an empty room and have been advised that your job is to use tools and instructions (which are given to you), to build two small robotic feet. As you work, you become distracted because you can't quite understand the purpose of this project. The distraction causes you to prolong completing the construction of the robotic feet.
Weeks later, you are informed that the two small robotic feet were part of a larger robot, which would be used for space missions. Now that you've been informed of the bigger picture, it all makes sense to you.
Let's take a closer look and review some of the benefits of understanding the big picture at work.
Whether it's at work, at home, or in a social setting, people are constantly seeking clarity about things that they don't understand. Clarity can be defined as the ability to understand something without doubts or questions. You became distracted while working because there was no clarity as to why you were instructed to build two small robotic feet. If you had been initially informed of the reason why you were asked to build the robotic feet, you may have been able to complete the job at a faster rate.
Businesses and organizations should make it a priority to not only explain to their employees how to perform their duties, but it's also just as important to explain why. By doing so, people will be able to understand the direction in which a business is going and can align their objectives accordingly with the job. The ability to see and understand the big picture clearly is a key benefit because people can see just how their responsibilities support the organization.
Purpose & Self-fulfillment
While clarity is an important benefit to understanding the big picture at work, it's not the only benefit. One of the more rewarding benefits to seeing the entire picture at work is purpose and self-fulfillment. Each business and organization has its own mission and purpose. While the mission of an organization is to provide a set of steps that explains how you plan on arriving at your destination and goals, the purpose explains why an organization exists. The purpose of an organization is often tied to its employees' self-fulfillment. It can be defined as an emotion or feeling of personal satisfaction and happiness derived from a meaningful objective that has been met.
For example, Janet works at a local children's hospital and has been tasked with performing various office duties, such as making sure papers are signed by the appropriate doctor, and helping wherever she is needed. Her previous job was working at a college performing similar duties. While employed at the college, she rarely reviewed her work and often left work early without completing her duties. However, since she's begun working at the children's hospital, she's understood their purpose of improving the health and quality of life for their patients. By understanding the big picture of working at the children's hospital, as well as its purpose, it allows Janet to perform her job responsibilities to the best of her abilities.
Can you recall when you were learning how to add and subtract? If you were anything like me, then you might have been thinking that you just got the alphabet under your belt, and now this! There was no way that you could have known what was ahead in the form of multiplication and division. Since multiplication and division each require at least a minimal amount of adding and subtracting, it's important that adding and subtracting is clearly understood, because it will allow for better results with multiplication and division.
This concept also rings true for organizations, because better results are a direct consequence of understanding the bigger picture. These results yield higher quality products and services as well.
Meet Tom. Tom is an engineer for NASA. His NASA training includes the viewing of missions that have ended in fatalities due to analytic problems with the space shuttle. Upon understanding this as the big picture, it allows Tom to perform his best and produce the best results possible. In this particular scenario, a complete understanding of the big picture has caused him to carefully review his work, and make sure that the information and data is accurate and has been tested before a space mission begins.
The lesson describes three benefits of understanding the big picture at work:
- Clarity - The ability to understand something without doubts or questions.
- Purpose & self-fulfillment - An emotion or feeling of personal satisfaction and happiness derived from a meaningful objective that has been met. This typically is a result of understanding an organization's purpose/answers why an organization exists.
- Better results - Understanding the big picture results in higher quality products and services as well as higher profits.