details

Caught up in the details? Can’t see the forest for the trees? Bogged down in minutiae? Confounded by complexity? All common complaints especially in our modern world, and often compounded by an ever increasing pace of change. I am regularly required to pay attention to detail without losing sight of the proverbial ‘big picture’. Striking a balance between having enough detail knowledge to make good decisions and staying focused on the goal really just boils down to paying attention and the ability to assemble the pieces into cohesive thoughts. Building the skills to organize and prioritize details in order to understand situations is a rare and valuable trait. I liken it to composition in photography. Too much clutter makes for a poor photographic composition. Zooming in can reduce that clutter but your original big picture can get completely lost. So, it comes down to priority and context. We all have to weed out the unnecessary clutter while keeping the important details in mind in order to reach sound conclusions. I reframe a subject or change perspective to reach that end. If shooting at shoulder height brings too much ground clutter into my frame, then I get low to the ground or get higher to look down at the subject. I may walk around to get a better angle. We can train ourselves to act in a similar fashion when we are trying to solve complex problems or organize inputs to make sound decisions. Only then we can build a solid tool set for staying ahead of complexity. Take time to walk around your subject. Get a better view. Look at all the angles before you take your best shot. Keep asking yourself – ‘does this make a better photograph’ as you add or discard details in your mind. It is often a smaller set of beautiful items (or ideas) that makes the best picture.

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