All posts in CY Columns


The Whole Thing

One of the ways to understand something is to break it down into its smallest divisible parts. By breaking something down, whether it is a business, a concept or a model for a new way of doing something, we are able to more readily digest the information before us. Often, I have used the phrase “deconstruct to reconstruct” in terms of attempting to master a new concept. When ideas or pieces of information are small and manageable, they are more easily understood. But there is more to understanding than that.

I have no doubt that taking things apart and separating them into component parts is a valuable exercise in learning and understanding. And, when we break things down we may learn to construct new things from the pieces we have separated out.

However, to truly gain an understanding of something it is not enough to deconstruct it to reconstruct it. Understanding components is important, but remembering that the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts is an equally compelling part of the comprehension puzzle.

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