I want to tell you about seeing things in systems. Being able to fly above the one tiny view of the world that we have, perhaps toiling away in the little workshop of our business, our work. Of being able, as it were, to transfer our awareness into the body of a great bird, flying overhead. This bird can see the lay of the land.
This bird flies higher; can see all the way down to the river and beyond. She sees the far-flung fields to the West.
When we are in the toil of our daily lives, we cannot see that far. To see all the way to the river. Or to speak more directly, it is hard for us to see all the parts of our business. All the pieces of the machine, so to speak. But there are many ways we soar above our small view, and see the whole lay of the land.
And the most critical reason to do so would be this: unless we understand the parts in the system you are working in, it is quite possible that we are devoting our energies in ways that will not create the result we want.
We can soar above in many ways. To see the big picture in time, we could create a customer journey map. This would give us a view into the phases our customer goes through in interacting with us.
Or we could soar above and see the whole system of our business, using a tool like a business model canvas.
This allows us to pay attention to the various parts that make our business run and is likely to give us at least a few aha's about pieces and parts we don't think about as much.
You could also use a skill map or competency map to give us a picture of the holes and skills required to fully staff our company. This could also give us some very good 10,000-foot realizations, as we often tend to cluster with people who are like us, frequently leaving skill gaps. (There should be a good graphic for this one, but I could not find one. It needs to be made.)
Each of these tools pulls you out of your ordinary world and lets you soar above. The key components to be able to fly like this are:
- Set time aside. Create space and time where you cannot be distracted — even one hour is super helpful. This starts the ritual and creates a container for it.
- Work with your tool. There are many to choose from, and I've shared a few here. Whatever your "map", it will help you see a bigger vision of your business or project. It's very nice if you can get some 11x17 paper, so you have more room. Draw out your map, and take your time. The contemplation you do here gives you room to see patterns; notice connections, and pay attention to areas that are either too crowded or too sparse.
- Note realizations and next steps. Don't leave your realizations on the paper! Make a note of the most important parts, and decide: "what are the most important steps I need to take here to balance out or strengthen this system?"
That's it! If you want some help, feel free to reach out. I love this kind of work :-)