When focused on growing your business, founders and executives often find themselves entrenched in the day-to-day operations, struggling to see the forest for the trees. Problems pop up and they need to be solved — it’s natural to address an issue sitting in front of you and moving on to the next one. This may work out fine in the short term and in the day to day, but we find this tunnel vision can lead to systemic issues being overlooked, like in medicine where we sometimes fall victim to treating symptoms without addressing the root cause.

Understanding the Tapestry of High Growth Businesses

Startup founders and executives are like artists meticulously weaving the tapestry of their business. It’s easy to press your nose too close to the weave, losing sight of the broader picture. The closeness often leads to solutions that address immediate problems but fail to tackle underlying issues.

Strategy Before Action

Founders need to focus on developing a smart, overarching strategy before diving into tactical implementation. This approach ensures that every action taken aligns with a broader, more effective solution. It’s about seeing the path through the trees, not just the trees themselves.

The Symptom vs. Root Cause Dilemma

In the daily life of running a tech startup, it’s common to address what seems to be the problem at hand. However, this often leads to treating symptoms of a larger, unseen issue. The root cause often is hidden behind those symptoms — sometimes you just need to take a step back and re-evaluate before taking immediate action. By stepping back, you gain the clarity to treat the root cause, ensuring a more sustainable and effective solution.

The Power of Zooming Out

Our approach as consultants and investors is to master the view of the entire tapestry. We believe in a ‘zoom in, zoom out’ methodology, where we help you appreciate the intricacies of your business up close but also guide you to step back and see the whole picture. This perspective is crucial in identifying the root causes of challenges, rather than just their symptoms.

And before you say it, we will: Taking an extra beat to evaluate the full picture before taking action is not going to slow you down in the long run. In business it’s about taking the right, calculated moves that need to be taken — not taking sloppy or hurried steps that don’t get you where you need to go.

The Role of an External Consultant

This is where an external consultant becomes invaluable. As someone not entrenched in the day-to-day operations of your business, a consultant brings a fresh perspective, asking the right questions and providing feedback and direction tailored to your unique situation. Our role is to guide you to see your business from a vantage point that reveals paths and solutions previously obscured by proximity.

Long Term Empowerment Through Perspective and Action

The path of a high-growth company is complex and multifaceted, much like a richly woven tapestry. By partnering with consultants who understand the art of zooming out, you gain the perspective needed to address not just the immediate challenges but the underlying issues that drive long-term success.

Let us help you gain the empowering perspective that will transform your approach and propel your venture to new heights.

About the Author: Joe Schipani

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Joe Schipani is a Managing Partner at Cross/Section. Prior to founding Cross/Section, he had a successful career in leadership roles in sales, marketing, business development and operations. He focuses on growth, product, GTM strategy, and continuous improvement in front office functions.