Big picture learning – communicating your vision
Big picture learning – what is it? As The Big Picture People, we have been working with clients since 1999 to help them to communicate their organisation’s big messages to their employees. This big picture learning approach has helped them to communicate new strategies, new visions, new values and has even been used to communicate technical information such as health and safety and quality procedures.
At The Big Picture People, we believe that engaging employees to help them to understand the big picture of their organisation makes them feel more passionate about their work and ultimately contribute more. Most of the time though, employees can only see a small part of the organisation and have a narrow view of what it does and why it does it. They can’t see how what they do fits in with everything else. It’s like the all have their own individual piece of the organisational “jigsaw puzzle” but no one has ever really shown them the lid of the jigsaw box. This is what The Big Picture People approach is all about… sharing the big picture of the organisation.
The big picture learning approach literally helps them to see the BIG PICTURE of the organisation. It shows them how different parts of the organisation fit together as a complex system. This is done through a “Learning Map”.
The Learning map approach to big picture learning
A Learning Map itself is a very large, visually rich, ‘big picture’ explored by small groups or teams of 5-10 people. It shows the information and concepts to be communicated in a targeted, stimulating and challenging way and helps employees visualise new concepts and processes. Together with the other learning components, it forms the heart of our Learning Map. Its purpose is to encourage group interaction and discussion on key learning points thus providing open forum for views and learning.
The Learning Map can take many different forms, but with the consistent aim of providing a focal point that brings drive and energy to group discussions, whilst directing more purposeful dialogue around the issues that are high on the organisation’s agenda.
Our big picture learning approach is about more than simply a well-constructed graphic. Crucially it will be an integrated set of tools and materials designed to achieve maximum interactivity, to encourage and enable employees to fully engage in the big picture, and to complement the organisation’s internal communications approach. This comes together as a “Learning Map” – an integrated toolkit of learning materials to bring the big picture to life.
Big picture learning is about the conversation too
Big picture learning is not just about the big picture itself though! We believe that conversation remains our most powerful tool for engaging employees in meaningful discussions about behaviour change. Our big picture learning approach is based on the following principles that have been proven to put employees in the picture:
- Coming to their own conclusions on key issues rather than being told what to think.
- Visualising concepts in a way that helps them to see how they connect together.
- Using storytelling to make the process memorable and natural.
- Interacting in small groups so everyone is involved and participating.
- Engaging in a process that is funbecause when they are having fun, they want to take part.
- Tapping into the knowledge of peers and co-workers who are the real experts.
- Exploring changes that affect them in a way they wouldn’t in a more formal setting.
- Utilising technology to engage, not distract, helping to make the messages stick.
Could a big picture learning approach be right for you?
Our clients see the value in sharing the organisation’s big picture and want to get their vision, goals and strategies out of the heads of senior leaders and being delivered across the organisation. They also believe that if the organisation’s big picture was seen, heard and understood, it could result in a step-change in business performance.
We have successfully developed the Learning Map and materials utilising our big picture learning approach for a diverse range of needs. It has been used across a wide range of internal functions – from manufacturing to finance – and in diverse business sectors – from food to aerospace. Our big picture learning approach is also ideal for improving new staff inductions and was the subject of a CIPD podcast in 2014. You can read about the impact we have had for our clients on our impact and case studies page.
Whatever your aim, our big picture learning approach and Learning Map will give you rapid alignment, memorable learning and significantly improved performance, and because it will be put into action by your own internal facilitators you will have absolute control over when, how and where to use it. If you are frustrated with employee communication that relies on conventional approaches such as slide presentations and you know these methods just don’t hit the mark when it comes to fully engaging employees in the key messages, our big picture approach could be right for you.
Get in touch with us to find out how you can apply our big picture learning approach to your organisation.