There is a 30 minute walk I do early every morning with the dog. We mostly have the road and paths to ourselves, although we greet ‘Fiat 500 Nurse’ (not her real name) as she drives past for her shift. If you talk to the locals, they’ll describe it as the local loop. Or if they are feeling generous with words, they’ll include take lane by Liz’s house, then turn off bridle way up to John’s field. Useful if you are local, not so much if you are visiting the area.
Good directions and maps simplify reality. They contain critical signposts and leave out the rest. But they don’t leave too much out. There is a sweet spot again. Good directions and map making is a skill. We know this because too often we experience the opposite. We’re given directions to someone’s house or a meeting point and we end up lost. We’re on holiday at there is a map of local spots with confusing signposts. And yes, google maps has improved out abilty to find places but it too can bring its own challenges (do a quick search of google maps fails for a bit of fun).
It’s not too different when we communicate ideas, visions, or change. Signposts are needed – not too many and not too few. The thing is the number of signposts required depends on the ‘reader’ not the author. Therefore, good leaders know their teams and the individuals on their teams well enough to give appropriate signposts. Just like when you zoom in and out of google maps you see different levels of details, so too does a leader communicate different levels of details to the person she is talking to.
And perhaps the most critical signpost is ‘you are here’. Maps make a lot more sense when we know where we are on it. Weirdly, too often this is signpost is left out.