Saturday, November 22, 2008

Big Picture

Earlier this summer, ICMA-RC sent out a DVD interview Bob O'Neil did with Dan Pink. I saw clips at the SEI seminar in July. I watched this again this morning waiting for the temperature to rise so I could work outside.

One thing that struck me was Pink's vision for the times we are now experiencing. I imagine everyone will be looking at the budget detail as we get ready to close the fiscal year. We will also be looking at detail as we think about the recession's affects on our community and organizations. Pink talked about the successful manager is one who operates as a symphony conductor. Having been in bands and orchestras in school and then thinking about conductors in relation to our profession.

Pink suggests that we take a big picture look at our organizations. What struck me today is the value of that in reacting to a downturn in the economy.

The focus of our work in the coming year or two is keeping our organizations together. Key to that success is looking at the big picture--the whole.

I imagine we will be asked by our governing bodies to deal with the "micro" much more than we want. I think it will be best for us all if we pull our heads up and look around at the big picture a little more often.

I remember giving advice a few years ago about the economy and suggesting that we try to be ready for action when the economy shifts. This is, in my view, looking at the big picture and moving our organizations to be ready for more positive economic times.