I still remember the first time I saw Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.
Seeing that image of all those people enjoying a day at the park…and then learning it was effectively a compilation of tiny points? My mind was blown.
As a kid, living in “precedented” times, I saw art.
As an adult living in – well, you know – I see wisdom and genius. I see a metaphor for a path forward.
The points are the point.
They represent increments – tiny spots versus broad strokes.
They represent small acts. Little experiments. Steps in a direction that we can quickly revise or evolve if that step takes us the wrong way.
As we watch so many leaders wipe egg off their faces as they realize they spoke too big, too soon about a forever work-from-home commitment…we’re reminded of the power of small, slow, and steady.
We have so many big challenges ahead. Big problems, big opportunities.
The best solutions will not come from the ivory tower. They will be the collection of points generated by the wisdom of your teams. But only if you invite them to dot your canvas.
This is what a Pulse Check can do. Ask big questions. But invite small solutions. Hypotheses, increments, experiments.
We ran a Pulse Check for a Biotech company. They are on the precipice of putting a literal-life-saving solution into the world. But they’ve been struggling significantly to hit their FDA approval deadlines. Which is a BIG problem. And they were seeking a BIG solution.
So we Pulsed their teams. And we gleaned some insights that pointed to small, clear actions that would deliver big impacts. Like…
- Junior members of the Product and Legal teams were getting very different messaging from their senior leadership. Leading to confusion around timelines, specifications, and other critical details. So we advised they develop a quick FAQ, and host weekly shared meetings between both teams. Clarity achieved.
- Internal approval processes were being inadvertently bottlenecked by 2 senior leaders.We advised they re-route those approvals. Efficiency achieved.
Certain administrative errors were being flagged on repeat at various stages of FDA approvals. So we advised they conduct brief After-Action-Reviews following each FDA meeting. Problems were resolved quickly. Higher quality achieved.
There were many more insights and recommendations. None of them singularly astounding. But each of them informed by reality. Delivered by the actual doers of the work – the ones feeling the problems, seeing the opportunities, and understanding what small fixes would deliver big impact.
Our intelligence is tapping their intelligence. In pulling it out, turning it into insight which morphs into action.
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