About Broader and Narrower Perspectives

While I was having a nice cup of tea the other day thinking about stuff, a colleague sat next to me and he seemed like he wanted to ask a question. After putting the tea away and greeting him with a friendly “what’s up?” he told me that he started to organise lean coffee events for engineers, but he reached an impasse. He wanted to have more attendees, but as it turned out a lean coffee for engineers didn’t attract too many people. On the other hand, a broader perspective - a general lean coffee - may frighten away the engineers.

I was in a philosophical mood, so I told him that his journey with his initiative is like driving on an unknown road during the night. When we drive under these conditions we occasionally turn on the full beam in order to see more from the road, but when we know enough or somebody else is on the road we turn it off and use only the low beam. Although the full beam helps us to know the most about the road and the environment, advanced drivers rarely use it. The low beam is usually enough, there are other light sources such as other vehicles, city lights or even the Moon. We never see the road as we do during daylight, just a part of it. And yet we can arrive at our destinations.

So, I suggested him to have a narrower perspective (use only the low beam), and when he is unsure or starts losing people, he should announce a broader perspective (use the full beam) until he is sure again where the initiative is heading (using only the low beam again).

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