Understand the Big Picture Large

Why Understanding the Big Picture Skills Matter

January 8, 2020

​You can help your company succeed by understanding the big picture. For example:

  • Your company’s vision. Make sure that you are working toward the same goals.
  • The world around you. Stay in touch with your customers. It is important to know how changes in technology, the economy, environment, and culture affect your customers’ needs.
  • Industry trends. Know how changes in laws and policies impact your industry. Follow technology trends and research. Know your competition. Consider how these factors impact your industry.
  • The impact of your actions. It is important for all staff to work in a safe and ethical manner.
    • Follow company policies and procedures. They have been put in place to ensure ethical behavior, a safe environment, and quality products are produced.

    • Produce high-quality work. This will help your team be more efficient, keep your customers happy, and help your company be competitive.

    • Be safe. If you get hurt, it will cost both you and the company time and money while you recover. Plus, you don't want to die or have a lifelong injury.

    • Be ethical. Unethical business practices can cost both you and the company a lot of money. If you steal (time, information, items, or money) from the company, you may lose your job or go to prison. If you behave unethically, you could hurt other staff, your customers, friends/family, and others in your community.

Foundation Skill Examples

Business Fundamentals

  • Know how the company functions in the broad world of business, industry, and service.
  • Follow rules and procedures.
  • Act in the best interest of the company, the community, and the environment.
  • Stay current on strategies to help the company stay competitive.
  • Maintain quality.

Customer Focus

  • Understand customer needs.
  • Provide personalized service.
  • Act professionally.
  • Keep customers informed.

Safety, Health, and Environment

  • Know and follow safety rules.

Management Skill Examples

Developing an Organizational Vision

  • Generate excitement.
  • Gain commitment.
  • Inspire others.


  • Build relationships.
  • Partner with others.
  • Leverage contacts.

Strategic Planning / Action

  • Establish objectives.
  • Imp​lement strategies.
  • Capitalize on alliances.
  • Recognize and deal with obstacles.
  • Identify emerging trends.


  • Think innovatively.
  • Influence decision makers.
  • Champion great ideas.
  • Reward innovation.

Scenario Guides

If you’d like to quickly test yourself on these skills, check out our scenario guides. These guides provide you with a few example situations on the first page, as well as space where you can write your solutions. Once you’ve done this, measure your responses against our answers on the second page.

You can find these guides in the “Documents” section of this article.

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