A paradox involving trees


“Can’t see the wood for the trees” is a common phrase used as shorthand for a common problem: if we’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it in context.

Thus we’re unable to see solutions which are obvious, or to think strategically since we lack a bigger-picture overview.

There is no one we’re going to be closer to than ourselves, so what makes us think we’re well placed to solve our bigger-picture problems which requires perspective and broader thinking? Once we have that in place we’re probably – if we know ourselves – the best person to add detail to the picture; but it seems that we’re going to be better off
listening to someone else to get a general overview.

PS This is not a well-phrased point, so please forgive me, but I’m in a hurry and wanted to get it down.

PPS Blindingly obvious? Yes, of course. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need saying. We forget this stuff.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.