The aeroplane is cruising at 22,000 feet and I’m in the window seat. Far below, I can see towns and roads, and a group of trees. I can make out the highways and rivers crisscrossing the brown land, joining the dots of the cities and bordered on one side by the coast and an endless expanse of sparkling ocean.
I’m too high to make out individual cars, although I can see where they would be going. We’re way higher even than the clouds scattered in tissuey billows.
Up here, I can see a different picture. I can see it all at once, expansive and inspiring as the detail is deleted and the map is clear. It’s so easy to see the start and the end, the connectedness, the big picture.
But I also know exactly what is going on at ground level because I’ve been there: I’ve driven those roads, visited the houses, climbed the trees.
The big picture is vitally important to set direction and know the complete story – and the coalface experience is just as important in order to relate to people and their needs.
It’s the same in business: we need to spend time flying at 22000 feet: setting goals and envisioning our direction for the future. Then we also need to work on the ground, getting our hands dirty, talking to our clients and making things work.
Do the air work and the ground work.