Details make the difference

The previous article discussed not sweating the small stuff by not letting small details get in the way of the big picture. This one is a bit different.

There are many examples where taking care of minor details can have a huge impact on the big picture. Some examples are when a building or area is allowed to fall into disrepair. Windows are broken, graffiti is on the walls, drugs are being sold in the area, crime is rampant etc. While some people would look big picture and try to figure out how to counteract the crime, people have realized by fixing the windows and painting over the graffiti, it sends a message to the community and it’s quite common for the drug problems and other crimes to lessen if not go away completely.

I can think of many times when sitting in a hotel lobby, if there are newspapers left randomly on the tables, someone will sit down with a cup of coffee, pick up a paper, start reading and when they get up to leave, they leave the cup of coffee (and frequently other garbage) behind. If the papers were not lying around randomly (either they weren’t there in the first place or they were organized in some fashion) the likelihood of them leaving garbage behind would be much lower..

People who would normally not think of littering will litter if they are in an area with a lot of garbage already on the ground. It’s an attitude of “a little more garbage wont make a big difference” so they start littering as well. Instead, if the garbage had been picked up in the first place, the next people wouldn’t compound the problem.

Another example would be with speeding. If a town is having a problem with excessive speeding in a certain area, they could pass all kinds of laws and regulations prohibiting speeding etc (this would be thinking big picture) or, they can start ticketing speeders and when others see the police out giving tickets, they will start to slow down.

Sometimes if you take care of the small stuff, the big stuff gets taken care of naturally.

As was mentioned in the previous post, this is why it’s so helpful to have a good mixture of people working together, some working big picture and others working on the details. It’s extremely unusual for one person to be good at both so getting the correct combination can prove to be invaluable.

In the same way that keeping an eye on the big picture can help you get past the small obstacles, sometimes taking care of the small obstacles will allow you to see the big picture much clearer

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Have a great day!

Lawrence

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