Management Tip of the Day: Strengthening your big-picture skills

Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:04am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

The ability to see the big picture is a critical skill for a rising leader. Detecting patterns and linking concepts help connect your work, or the work of others, to the larger goals of the organization and to the world more broadly.

Here are three ways to make those valuable connections:

1. Identify parallels. When faced with a new situation or project, ask yourself if it reminds you of anything. Are there elements that are similar to or relate to other situations in which you've been?

2. Expand your thinking. Look for non-obvious factors that may affect the situation. Seek out underlying causes or events.

3. Articulate analogies. To communicate what you are seeing, use metaphors and analogies to which others can easily relate.

Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Career Advice" on the "Ask the Expert: Tammy Erickson" board of the HBR Answer Exchange.

<p>A visitor looks at a painting of the Chinese contemporary artist Zeng Fanzhi during an exhibition at Bulgaria's National Gallery for Foreign Art in Sofia June 11, 2010. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov</p>