I live in Ojai, and I admit it's a small town. A long time ago, I heard that there was a "city thing" that says no building can be over 3 stories tall... of course, don't know if it's true, I never walked down to City Hall and asked. As I think about it now, thought, I don't know if there ARE any 4, 5, or 6 story buildings near where I live.
So, when I get to cities like New York, or (below) San Francisco and I get to work on one of the upper floors, I'm always reminded of the importance/significance of perspective and a long-range view. The higher up I look from, the further out I can see. When it comes to goals and thinking, this same, well, thinking applies!
There are at least three reasons I can come up with to think "bigger." And, I'll ask you reading this to add your reasons below in the comments area. I'd love to hear from a few people - what reasons do YOU have to think bigger?
Enhance collaboration by reducing inconsistency: A highly collaborative culture is an extremely risky culture. What do I mean? In a collaborative culture, you hear things like, "Hey, gotta sec?" "Are you available to go to a meeting right now?" "Can you look at this, I have to present on it in 15 minutes?" and more.
Organizations, departments, and teams need to observe, experiment with, and objectify certain routines and habits when it comes to productivity and working "together." Some areas to begin observing:
- How many hours/days go by between the time you email someone or leave a voicemail for them and you get a response back?
- Who (specifically and how many times per day) interrupts you throughout the day?
- What time do meetings actually start (that is, what is the delta between the "invited" time and the "actual start" time?
Clarify communication by increasing knowledge: There are bound to be some things about your industry that you don't know yet. For me, it's the next book I need to read, the next course I need to take, the next expert I will invite to lunch or coffee one morning. When I communicate - whether one-on-one with an executive I'm coaching, or to a group of 1,500 at a trade convention in Las Vegas - I'm always sourcing the "newest" information I could find.
New doesn't need to always be "recently found," it could be something that has been around for a while that I just found - a new discover I made of something that everyone else may already know about. My job, then, is to frame and present it in a way that engages the listener and promotes further development and thinking.
Amplify production by magnifying focus: Put your goals under a microscope. Take a piece of paper, and on the top write a goal you already know you'll be working on over the next 6 months (yes, one you won't finish until the end of 2010). Then, write AT LEAST 50 things you think of "about" that goal; who to ask for help, where to go for ideas, how to go about working toward it, when to take certain actions, why you REALLY want to do it. Then start, check in on, and end each day with this simple process:
- Write down what you MUST work on today (no more than 3 BIG topics).
- Stop mid-way through the day (lunch, before lunch, just after lunch) and ask, "Am I making progress on what I said I'd work on today?
- Go home...but FIRST identify the wins you experienced throughout the day.
Any one of these three activities will give you a refreshed/fresh perspective on what you're working on, why you're working on it, and how the world will be a better place as a result (ok, that's just thinking really, REALLY big!).
*** Bonus, name that bridge!