What is Zooming In and Out?

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When to Zoom In and Out

Often, we either zoom too far in or too far out. We’re either “in the weeds” or “looking at things from 10,000 feet.” Here are some questions to consider when you think you could use a change of perspective.

How to Zoom Out

Signs you are too Zoomed InQuestions to help you Zoom Out
You are constantly putting out fires and focusing on today’s problemsWhat is the context? What matters most? Are your actions nudging the system in the desired direction?
You jump on any good opportunity that presents itself. Does this fit your organization’s long-term goals?
You treat every situation or challenge as unique.Do other organizations fit the same challenge? Is this an industry-wide challenge? What external challenges is your challenge related to?
Adapted from Kanter, 2011

How to Zoom In

Signs you are too Zoomed OutQuestions to help you Zoom In
You veer away from dealing with specific problems and focus on general understanding and patterns.Based on your general understanding of the problem or situation, what specific actions should you take?
You pursue the organization’s mission regardless of the human cost. What could be the unintended consequences of your actions for your colleagues, customers, vendors, or business partners?
You fit every situation and issue into a few general categories.What are the details that make issues different? Which details of the situation matter?
Adapted from Kanter, 2011