As the founder, you’re always thinking two steps ahead. That’s not always the case for your team. That’s why we asked 10 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“How can you train your team to think about the big picture when they’re working on a specific task?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say about thinking big:
1. Use an OKR Goal Setting System
“An OKR (objectives and key results) goal setting system keeps all team members aware of the bigger picture. These objectives are kept public so it is easy for other employees to see what one team is working on and how it relates to what they are working on. By highlighting how each objective works together on larger goals, it should be easier for team members to think big. ” ~ Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors
2. Focus on Core Values
“In his best-selling business book ‘Good to Great,’ Jim Collins highlights the importance of establishing core values to help define goals and priorities of successful businesses. Core values help team members keep the big picture and allow everyone to evaluate performance with regard to not only overall priorities, but also specific tasks. Core values help keep focus despite occasional shifts.” ~ Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
3. Tie Their Output to Your Strategic Plan
“It’s easy to get so focused on the details that you lose sight of the big picture. By tying your team’s output directly to achieving a strategic goal, you’ll keep the focus on where the company is headed and how each task helps you get there. This also gives your team the incentive to ensure everything they do furthers your company’s strategic goals.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
4. Use Mind Maps
“The benefit of mind mapping is that you can create an overview of projects. You start with macro at the core, and slowly create smaller and smaller breakdowns of each project to have both a macro and micro view of projects. By creating this overview as a mind map, you can see how each small task connects to the large project, and how each large project fits in with the overall campaign.” ~ Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance
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5. Provide Monthly Updates
“It’s important for employees to understand the bigger picture and to see that what they are doing in the moment will eventually contribute to an end goal. We send out monthly updates to our team that show how what they’ve been working on in the past month is getting us closer to our goals. ” ~ Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
6. Adopt an Agile Workflow
“Adopt an agile workflow. If done properly, the big picture is always clear, as individual tasks are worked on collaboratively while building specific functionality, or business goals, within that larger framework. With daily meetings, those goals and tasks remain in the forefront of everyone’s mind, keeping the team on task and moving toward the same destination.” ~ Blair Thomas, First American Merchant
7. Start Small
“If you want your employees to get a grasp of the big picture, they have to start small. While working on specific tasks, you and your team should identify the actionable first steps, generate goals, and structure your approach. This will allow all individual tasks and goals to align directly with your company’s big picture goal.” ~ Anthony Pezzotti, Knowzo.com
8. Tie the Task to a Specific Metric
“Ask, ‘What metric will this task have an impact on?’ It could be directly revenue related, more qualitative (customer satisfaction/delight), or internal (efficiency). Then ask, ‘How does this metric affect other metrics?’ For example, customer delight affects word-of-mouth, which affects traffic, etc. This habit will help people see their work as part of a larger team effort.” ~ Roger Lee, Captain401
9. Make Sure Everyone Is Aware of Client Expectations
“Because we create managed hosting environments for our clients, team members must understand what we’re trying to achieve for each client. I try to ensure that every team member understands the greater goal and their contribution, so that everyone is pulling in the same direction. A client-focused approach helps provide a framework within which everyone understands the part they have to play.” ~ Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.
“Sometimes the simplest team strategies work the best. Have a giant whiteboard viewable for all team members with either your one metric or your mission statement, written in full view. Make that the first thing team members see each day, and make it front in center whenever their minds (and eyes) start to wonder if they are questioning the context of a task or strategy.” ~ Sam Madden, PocketSuite, Inc.
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