Connecting the dots


One of the most powerful ways in which communicators can contribute unique, strategic value is by discerning patterns and linkages that others don’t perceive.

Connecting the dots is about cultivating the habit of seeing the interplay between issues, information and trends which may otherwise seem unrelated on the surface. This ability to connect the dots is what Daniel Pink calls “Symphonic Thinking“, or the ability to “put together the pieces” when looking at the bigger picture. This mindset is about having the savvy to see that what might appear to be a public relations issue really has its roots as an internal change management challenge, for example.

The most successful, sophisticated communications strategists I know have honed this superpower of integrated thinking and pattern recognition. They adopt a system-wide view and are able to make sense of disparate inputs, issues and relationships. This attunement and perceptiveness becomes the source for identifying creative options and forging solutions for their organizations. 

The leadership development work I do with communications professionals is focused on shifting from a paint-by-numbers model of the function to maximizing impact by strategically connecting the dots.

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