A shift in perspective can change everything in your business

By Andrew Griffiths

Once we learn to look at different ways to “see” our business, and we work out how we can move in and out of these views to achieve different outcomes, we have a fantastic new tool to increase productivity, to manage procrastination, to enjoy what we do more and much more.

A little while back I had the great pleasure of working with a company that specialised in helping other organisations to improve their productivity through a process called “LEAN”. There are many elements to “LEAN”, you may have come across the concept in the work you do, but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t. One tool that they used very effectively was the concept of learning to look at a business from different perspectives as a way to better manage what it does. 

This is a very powerful concept, because most of us, in big and small business alike, tend to get so stuck inside the business, that it gets very hard to see clearly and think clearly. They used three specific views, with animal references – and I’ve done my best to summarise them here: 

  1. Birds Eye – this is when we take a more elevated look at our business. This is great for planning, problem solving and regaining focus if you’ve been spending a lot of time in the trenches doing stuff. I like to take the birds eye view once a week (at least), just to make sure I’m staying on track. It helps me to keep focused on where I’m heading and why I’m heading there. 
  2. Fish Eye –  this is when we are in our business, managing, coordinating, working with clients, planning the world we need to do. The “Fish Eye” concept is the view when we are trying to take in everything that is happening at a more operational and functional level. This is where we spend a lot of our time managing our workloads, coordinating, doing admin and things like that. This is often where we make or lose money. 
  3. Insect Eye – and last but not least is this Insect Eye, this is where we do the work that actually makes us money, we dive deeper into the specific work, the specific details and finer details of all that we do. Ideally, we need to spend a lot of our time in this space as it’s where we do our best work. 

So what is the real value of having these three views of our business? Personally I find that by being aware of the different views, I tend to move in and out of them as needed. If I spend all of my time in the “Birds Eye” view, all I do is think big picture, the all-encompassing view, but I never actually do any work or get anything done. But it is very effective for regaining focus if I’ve spent a lot of time in “Insect Eye”, rolling up my sleeves and getting stuff done. 

If I find myself feeling a little overwhelmed with too much to do, I move back to “Fish Eye” or even “Birds Eye” view, to bring perspective back to my business. 

Once we learn to look at different ways to “see” our business, and we work out how we can move in and out of these views to achieve different outcomes, we have a fantastic new tool to increase productivity, to manage procrastination, to enjoy what we do more and much more. 

I find that for most business owners, and especially for soloists, the biggest challenge is overwhelm. Too much to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it. When we get comfortable with moving between bird, fish and insect eye views, and the subsequent change in our thinking and our mood when we move between these views, we naturally start to use them more often. 

This is a high-level management tool, that is just as applicable (if not more applicable) to small business owners and soloists and a great lesson to be learned. Whilst I’m in no way an expert or an authority on this concept, like many corporate tools we can use them really effectively in our solo businesses. Managing ourselves and our work is increasingly more important and more challenging. We all need to know ourselves better and find the right tools to help us do what we do every day. 

My advice from here is simple. Take a moment right now to take think about the different views and your business. Think about the “Birds Eye” view of your business, think about the “Fish Eye” view of your business and think about the “Insect Eye” view of your business. Try to get a sense of how each differs and how each makes you feel – do you get more clarity when you move from one view to another, do you feel better when you move from one view to another?

Originally published at https://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/professional-development/a-shift-in-perspective-can-change-everything-in-your-business

Leave a Reply