Can you see the whole picture?

Most times when looking for a response to a long term problem we approach it with the same frame of view. Its almost as if we perpetuate the problem we are trying to solve because of some type of limitation in our ability to see things from another perspective.

Well, there are frameworks and models to assist us in our thinking.

One such model is based on Ken Wilber’s “Integral Theory”. Where integral implies seeing the whole picture.

In essence Wilber argues that there are four perspectives to any phenomena:

  1. the systems we share (ie, the exterior collective, social)
  2. the beliefs we share (ie. the interior collective, cultural)
  3. the systems that are me (ie, the exterior individual, behaviours)
  4. the beliefs that are me (ie, the interior individual, intentions)

So, how does this apply in practice?

For example, a team seems to continually come up short with respect to its customer service KPI’s. All previous attempts at improving have been focused on training. Well, how about seeing if other actions would work?

How about reflecting upon the intentions of those in the group. How might those be aligned with what you are trying to achieve? What about considering the systems that the people are working with. Are the IT systems that the team are using fit for the job? And what about the culture of the group? What words and metaphors can you use to describe it?

So, by looking at the problem from a different vantage point the keys to unlocking that issue can be found.

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