6 Simple Techniques to Help Your Employees See the Big Picture

If you’re like most managers, you know the importance of helping your team see the bigger picture. You would do more, if you only had the time. The occasional all-hands meetings help, but without interim reinforcement, those motivational meetings can feel like a fire hose of plans and numbers. If you want your team to truly “get it,” sprinkle little bits of big picture reinforcement into their week.

6 Ways to Get Your Employees to See the Big Picture

“The big picture doesn’t just come from distance; it also comes from time.”  -Simon Sinek


It’s easy to forget that the main reason many employees don’t think more strategically is a lack of information. It’s hard to connect the dots when a third of them are invisible.  It’s also tough to translate all you heard three days later. What I’ve found works quite well is just to send soundbites out via text message throughout some of the more strategic meetings I attend.

I make them fun and relevant to their roles. It creates interest and sets the table for the more robust conversations that follow.  These have worked for years, long before 140 characters was the way of the world. “Oh boy, Competitor X just launched new plans that will change the way customers think about our pricing. Let’s talk more on Monday.”

2. Gamification

It’s easier than ever to turn learning into a game. In most of my keynotes I use kiwilive as a simple platform to poll or ask questions, poll everywhere is free for up to 25 responses (no, neither of these companies are paying me).  Participants can “compete” on who knows your big picture fun facts from the convenience of their phone.

3. Bring-a-Friend Staff Meetings

Sometimes the best way to understand how sausage is made, is to help make it. Giving people exposure to the conversation and thought process, not just the outcomes of strategic decisions, goes a long way in helping people connect the dots. Every time I’ve held a “bring-a-friend staff meeting” where my direct reports each bring one of their direct reports, you can almost see the light bulbs going on.

4. Field Trips

There’s a reason every elementary school takes a trip to the zoo. You can read about giraffes all you want, but until you have one bend down and lick your face, it’s hard to really understand what they’re all about. There’s real power in taking a “field trip” to another department and seeing how they really think and operate.

5. Mentoring Circles

I’ve shared this idea with you before. I’m repeating my self because mentoring circles work. Click here for more information.   If you want more information on mentoring you can download my FREE eBook, Mentoring in the Age of the Millennial from my new ecourse landing page.

6. Teaching Operations Reviews

Another one of my key go-tos. For step-by-step instructions click here.

Effective managers are translators. Help your team see the bigger picture. Before you motivate, translate.

BONUS TRACKS: FREE Webinars, Radio Interviews and HBR

Karin Hurt Promo

reorganizationIf you’re free on Wednesday October 28, I’ll be out in the online-world making a bit of a ruckus.

At 1pm, I’m joining Twan van de Kerkhof on a panel: Is the Future of Leadership More Personal (I bet you can guess my POV).

At 2pm EST I’Il be on Faces of Success Radio talking about David Dye’s and my upcoming book, Winning Well (click on the image to enlarge).

Also, I was recently interviewed in this article for HBR on about What To Do and Say After a Tough Reorganization. Such circumstances can hurt or help your career. If you’re faced with a reorganization, I hope this helps.

SPECIAL EDITION-Frontline Festival – Thought Leaders Share about 7 Roles That Lead to Lasting Results

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. I’m delighted to have so many thought leaders weighing in on the seven roles I see as most critical to building results that last.

This Festival is also a celebration of my new multi-media e-course that is launching October 27th. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

On that page, you can also download my FREE ebook: Mentoring in the Age of the Millennial and sign up for my FREE 5 Day Leadership Challenge.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Thought Leaders Share About 7 Roles That Lead to Lasting Results


Translator:  Don’t Motivate Until You Translate

Key Question:  What’s most IMPORTANT?

Key Behaviors: Stays on top of industry and competitive trends; helps his or her team understand how their work fits into the bigger picture; works to ensure other departments know what we do and why it’s important.

Thought Leaders Share:

According to David Dye of Trailblaze, many team leaders consign their people to meaningless drudgery and are surprised when people don’t care about the work. David shares how to avoid this leadership mistake and keep your people energized with one simple practice.  Follow David.

Charles Saliba of HR Works tells us that leaders are messengers. They play the most important role in mobilizing their teams, helping them see the whole picture, and stimulating their motivation. Hence, if Leaders are unable to translate the Business Vision to their employees, they will not be able to motivate them. Follow Charles.


Builder: To See More, Be More

Key Question: How do we IMPROVE?

Key Behaviors: Challenges each team member to continuously improve their skills; addresses performance issues head on; provides consistent, candid feedback.

Thought Leaders Share:

Chantal Bechervaise of Take It Personel-ly  reminds us that Leadership is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be something you’re naturally talented at, something you practice, and something you learn. This post examines some of the “good” skills that leaders have or should have. Follow Chantal.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership points out that human beings are naturally creative. Your challenge is to get them to share ideas at work. It’s not that hard. Follow Wally.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement suggests you favor efforts that will help you build organizational capacity to do more of what you want going forward. Partially this is about building expertise in the organization. It is also about building your circle of influence so you can expand to more ambitious improvement efforts once the organization is prepared to succeed with such efforts.  Follow John.

Dr. Artika Tyner of the Planting People. Growing Justice Institute  suggests that Nelson Mandela’s leadership legacy provides us with a daily challenge to make an impact through service in the global community. We are reminded that it is #Time2Serve and the time to serve is always now. Follow Artika.

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents Building with Thrown Bricks where she shares that successful times are those when we take the bricks that others throw at us and choose not to be defeated, not to give up, and not to live our life dodging thrown bricks, but instead to build an even stronger foundation for the project we’re leading, the goal we’re after, the life of our dreams, and the person we want to be.  Follow Lisa.

connector (1)

Connector: Trust Them to Trust You

Key Question:  How can we best work TOGETHER?

Key Behaviors:  Communicates frequently through multiple channels; provides opportunities for cross training; helps the team surface and discuss their conflicts productively.

Thought Leaders Share:

Paula Kiger of Perspicacity shares about Bob Hentzen, who led an organization which crossed boundaries of 22 countries and many socio economic and other boundaries. He left the poorest people feeling capable and the richest people feeling connected to the poor.  Follow Paula. 

John Manning of Map Consulting reminds us that if you trust your team you’ll not only foster employee morale, growth, and productivity but also attract the best and brightest talent throughout the course of your leadership. Here are three surefire ways to show your people you trust them.  Follow John.  

Jennifer Miller of The People Equation says leaders must give trust to get it in return from their teams. But trusting behavior doesn’t just “happen.” She offers seven questions for leaders to ponder to determine their trust-building Point of View. Follow Jennifer.


Key Question:  How do WE make a difference?

Key Behaviors: Rallies his or her team toward a compelling vision of the future; asks great questions that inspire employees to do more; people on his/her team are excited about what they are up to.

Thought Leaders Share:

Matt McWilliams of Matt McWilliams Consulting shares that every great leader must learn to instill belief in his team. When you say “I believe in you” to someone, you are empowering them to stretch beyond their limits and achieve new levels of success. Follow Matt.

Bill Treasurer of Giant Leap Consulting suggest that one challenge most leaders face is how to inspire more workplace creativity. Inspiring creativity and imagination often requires disrupting people’s mental routine and catching them off guardFollow Bill.


Backer: Help Them Taste the Win


Key Question:  How do we accomplish MORE?

Key Behaviors: Proactively removes roadblocks for his or her team; helps team members recover from setbacks or disappointments; will “take a bullet” for the team.

Thought Leaders Share:

According to Lisa Hamaker of How Good Can You Stand It? leaders know that empowering each person on their team reaps benefits, but may focus on hard skills. Here are Three Ways that the super soft skill of Creating Joyful Work benefits the team’s work. Follow Lisa.


Accelerator: Burn the Script

Key Question: How can I HELP?

Key Behaviors: Finds ways to eliminate wasteful and redundant work; runs efficient and effective meetings; includes the right people in decisions so projects move along efficiently.

Thought Leaders Share:

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC tells us leaders must be in better touch with their communication and emotional intelligence styles to be significant transformers in today’s frenetic human spheres. It will serve them to generate enthusiasm and momentum for the visions that put before their people. Follow Michelle.

Chery Gegelman of Simply Understanding  shares that when objectives increase, the volume of customers increase, the demands on your time increase and the effectiveness of your tools decrease… How do you do more with less?  Follow Chery.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader reveals that routine can slow down an organization; excuses even more so. By burning the script of “we’ve always done it this way”, organizations can start to move forward towards faster innovation and growth. Follow Paul.

Blogger David Oddis was inspired by the Accelerator role and shares an analogy he has used with his team for many years, with success. Follow David.

William Steiner of Executive Coaching Concepts gives a simple and practical step by step guide to reducing 5% of what’s on everyone’s plate by identifying what you can stop doing.  Follow William.



Key Question:  How do we SHARE our success?

Key Behaviors:  Provides the team with opportunities to communicate their results to key stakeholders; advocates for team members and their careers; helps employees build a strong network of position relations with other departments.

Thought Leaders Share:

One of the tasks of an Ambassador is to set healthy boundaries with and for the team. This involves being able to say “no” graciously. Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited gives us some tips on how to do just thatFollow Beth.

Call For Submissions: Next Month’s Festival is all about Gratitude. New submissions always welcome. Click here to submit a post.


7 Roles of an Exceptional Leader