THE BIG PICTURE
Breathing Life into Our Organizations
by Susan Kelly
Hello, to all Leaders and Managers in organizations and corporations:
Your first instinct may be to send this book to Human Resources, but you should read it, because it is directed to you. It will also be valuable to HR and all employees as well, as they read along beside you, but it takes leaders to significantly move an organization, by the messages and examples they send out. The mindset and the behavior a leader models, is like a laser beam that shoots through the organization to provide guidance.
SETTING THE CONTEXT
I have been working with organizations and corporations as a consultant for over 30 years. My title has been Graphic Facilitator. We also call ourselves Visual Practitioners. (More on this field later, especially as it pertains to Visual Thinking in Part C.) It’s there, in the real work, with people in meetings, where I learned about Organizational Life and the value of Visual Thinking in organizational life, as I’m coming to define it.
The goals for me in writing this are:
To help breathe new life into organizations, by appreciating The Whole Person, The Whole Brain, The Whole Group and The Whole System.
To help visualize what it means and what it takes to be a healthy, thriving organization that enriches all. To see what’s possible when we refocus our intentions, attention, energy and resources in
To help unpack how work really gets done and how we can work together in ways that unleash the potential of each employee, and the system as
To help people see the big picture, the context within which they are working and, to understand that we are part of a bigger world.
To offer questions and plant seeds that, hopefully, you will explore in more detail for yourself as you see fit.
In a healthy, dynamic organization, leaders and managers and others pay attention to at least these
3 tracks at all times:
Part A of this book is about Organizational Life and People Intelligence.
In the Organizational Life section, I pose my view of current reality in our organizations today and my perspective on where I think we are missing the boat on being able to achieve our full potential. I then offer a comparison of two different mindsets or metaphors for thinking about our organizations as a whole.
People Intelligence is about taking a big picture view of an organization’s most prized assets: The people that work there. It’s about appreciating the individual person, as well as how individuals work together in the common space to create and maintain the whole system for the benefit of all.
Part B is about Process Intelligence, which means engaging people and designing and facilitating for success. It has to do with creating conditions that assist and catalyze effective and satisfying collaboration. These include processes and spaces, and supporting structures and systems, that are easily understood and that work.
Part C is about Visual Intelligence, bringing ideas and information and issues to life so that we can see them, and better comprehend or make meaning of them. It’s about making the invisible visible so that people can work together in more efficient, productive and