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CEO: “He just didn’t get the big picture.” I once had a talk with executive, who told me that he had fired an employee because the employee didn’t “get the big picture.” A dialog between us went something like this: Me: “I’m sorry to hear that you had to let Mike go. What happened?” Executive: “He just didn’t get the big picture.” Me: “That sounds bad. What do you mean?” Executive: “He just didn’t get it.” Me: “Get what?” Executive: “The big picture.” And



You get the idea. As is often the case, what is obvious to senior leaders is not obvious to their teams. Strategy and the big picture are two concepts that often fall into this category. Top leaders nod knowingly as they discuss these concepts while others on the team are left wanting. And the consequences are extremely costly. When strategy and the big picture are unclear, people can:  end up working very hard on the wrong thing,  make poor decisions  and even quit out of frustration. As the economy recovers, executives and their talent management teams will be dealing with new employees, as well as retention issues with their existing teams. Turnover becomes even more of a risk if strategy and the big picture are unclear. An important part of every leader’s talent management efforts must include providing this baseline of information. The



• Who is to blame when the strategy and the big picture are not clearly and universally understood? and









When you’re a senior leader, you have an obligation to be certain that your talent management team is clear about your strategy and the big picture. If they don’t “get it,” the first place to look for the problem is in the mirror. Luckily, the solution to this problem is pretty simple. If you’d like to know for sure whether your strategy is understood and can be executed, try testing your team’s ability to discuss the big picture. You can start by setting a standard for what you mean by “getting the big picture.” For example, you could say that if every employee in your organization could answer 5-10 questions about the strategy and sound like their own manager and their immediate teammates, then they “get the big picture.” Conversely, if they can’t answer the questions consistently, it is a measure of being out of touch with the context in which the business is being run. This works at every level from a front-line team all the way up. If you sound like your boss and your peers, you’re golden; if not, you’re likely out of sync. What, then, are the questions that the team had better be able to answer and how should the executive go about ensuring this information is widely understood? Here






1. Who are the customers or customer segments we serve, listed in priority order? 2. What are the services we provide now and which ones, if any, need to change as we implement the current strategy? 3. What is our value proposition and how does it set us apart in the marketplace? 4. Which environmental trends/issues (such as market, economic, societal, political or environmental) are important to our strategy? 5. What are three things your division is doing (and/or doing differently) to support the strategy?



Each of these big picture questions gets at the intent behind the strategy. There are right and wrong answers to these questions. Of course, the answers change when the strategy changes. And, a superficial understanding is not enough. Good people can be working really hard on the wrong thing if their understanding of these questions is off-base.

Everyone involved in talent management has to have a deep understanding of the big picture so that they can provide programs with the right mix of staff, skills, tools and processes to execute the strategy.

Regardless of your current job title, you have an obligation to ensure you can answer each of these questions (plus others as needed) for your business. If you’re a senior leader, you have an additional obligation to ensure that everyone in your reporting structure can answer these questions in a manner consistent with your expectations. So, go ahead, walk around and ask the questions. See what you learn and then take action. to fire seniour ['siːnɪə]

knowlingly consequences retention turnover blame teammate consistently to ensure peer [pɪə] consistent (with) superficial implement value propostition conversely ['kɔnvɜːslɪ] regardless of

увольнять старший (по возрасту) ; пожилой, senior man / citizen — пожилой человек, гражданин сведуще последствия удерживание оборот винить соратник последовательно удостовериться, убедиться равный (по положению), сверстник cовместимый, согласующийся поверхностный внедрять ценное предложение наоборот безотносительно к



as needed off-base reporting structure to list in priority order in a manner consistent with your expectations. being out of touch you’re likely out of sync.

по мере необходимости ошибочный your idea is completely off base — ты глубоко заблуждаешься подведомственая структура перечисленный в порядке приоритетности в духе соответствия с вашими ожиданиями (\ не находиться в контакте с ...; не быть в курсе чего-л. cинхронизация (вне сихронизации) our efforts are out of sync — наши усилия не скоординированы

1. Ваш проект не согласуется с нашими принципами. В нём нет ценного предложения. Наши усилия не будут скоординированны. 2. Ваш персонал должен следовать стратегии в манере, согласующейся с вашими ожидания. Они должны перечислять цели в порядке приоритетности. 3. Твоя идея совершенна ошибочна. Может быть, это потому, что мы не находились в контакте долгое время? 4. Безотносительно к часам работы, чувствуйте (себя) свободно пересылать нам любые вопросы по мере необходимости. 5. Удерживание сотрудников стоит дешевле, чем привлечение новых. 6. Поверхностные знания не помогают делу. Наоборот, они являются угрозой быть уволенным.

1. Your project is not consistent with our princips. There is not the value proposition. Our efforts will be out of sync. 2. Your personal ought to follow the strategy in the manner consistent with your expectations. They must list the aims in priority order. 3. Your idea is absolutely wrong. May be this is because of we (were being out of touch) didn’t keep in touch (during) long time. 4. Regardless of work-time feel free to send us different questions as well as you need. 5. Retention of employees costs cheaper than implementation of new ones. 6. Superficial knowledges doesn’t help to the deal. Conversely they are the danger (reason) to be fired. 7. If to implement this plan, the consequences will be



7. Если внедрить этот план, последствия могут быть негативными. Нам надо удоствовериться в его прибыльности. 8. Кого винить, когда первыми увольняют пожилых? А все соратники, даже сверстники, сведуще кивают головами в таких случаях.

negative. We need to ensure in its profitability. 8. Who is to blame when the seniors are fired at first? But all teammates, even peers nod knowingly at such cases.

CEO: to see the big picture.  
CEO: to see the big picture.  

Tips for CEO