Trigger Questions

Did you scope with a microscope or a telescope?

Trigger Question #133 — reading: about 1.3 minutes

“I’m sure the devil is here somewhere!”

. . .

Most of the time, you cruise along in your role as manager until something goes wrong. Then you zoom in. You use your microscope mindset to focus on the detail until you uncover the cause.

Most of the time, you cruise along in your leadership role until something goes wrong. Then you zoom out. You use your telescope thinking to probe the bigger picture to assess whether the problem will still matter “tomorrow.”

At least, that’s how I hope you operate when you need to scope a problem. You use either your microscope mindset or your telescope thinking.

But which do you use first, microscope or telescope?

You will be ineffective if you ignore details that matter. And you will squander resources if you focus on issues that will fade away without your help.

But…. Which do you use first, microscope or telescope?

Well, what will a human do? When something goes wrong, our instinct is to react. And we react to what confronts us here and now (the details). We don’t intuitively pause and consider the longer term. We reach for the microscope before we reach for the telescope.

Consider this old cliché. When you are lost in the forest, you cannot help but see the individual trees. That’s how you avoid crashing into them. Yet, the way out is to pause, step back, and somehow develop a picture, an idea, of the forest. (By getting a better view from the height of a big tree?)

Clearly, at work you need both your microscope mentality and your telescope thinking. Often at the same time. I suggest you start practicing today.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.