Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor

Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor of Business


The Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor often used to illustrate that a system, including a business, can be likened to a jigsaw puzzle. In this metaphor, the various pieces of a jigsaw puzzle represent different components, elements, or aspects of a system. The act of assembling the puzzle parallels the process of understanding and managing a complex system by fitting together these components to form a coherent whole.


Component Assembly

  • Interlocking Pieces: The metaphor highlights that each piece of a jigsaw puzzle has a specific place and must be correctly aligned with others to complete the overall picture.
  • Gradual Progress: Building the puzzle involves gradual progress as pieces are systematically connected, reflecting the step-by-step nature of understanding a complex system.


  • Completing the Picture: The ultimate goal of assembling a jigsaw puzzle is to see the complete image. Similarly, in systems thinking, the aim is to achieve a holistic understanding of the entire system.
  • Synergy: The metaphor emphasizes that when all the pieces come together, they create a unified and coherent whole that may reveal emergent properties or insights not apparent in individual pieces.

Relevance to Small Business Entrepreneurs

The Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor is relevant to small business entrepreneurs in several ways:

1. System Components

  • Component Identification: Entrepreneurs can view the various aspects of their business, such as marketing, operations, finance, and customer service, as puzzle pieces. Identifying and understanding these components is the first step toward holistic management.

2. Problem Solving

  • Root Cause Analysis: When faced with challenges or issues, entrepreneurs can approach problem-solving like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. By identifying the root causes and systematically addressing them, they can work toward solutions.

3. Strategy Development

  • Strategic Alignment: The metaphor encourages entrepreneurs to align their business strategies by ensuring that all components fit together cohesively to achieve overarching goals.

4. Systems Thinking

  • Holistic Perspective: Adopting the Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor reinforces the importance of considering the interconnectedness of various business elements, leading to more comprehensive decision-making.

5. Patience and Persistence

  • Gradual Progress: Like completing a puzzle piece by piece, entrepreneurs can appreciate that understanding and managing a complex system may take time and persistence.


In conclusion, the Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor offers small business entrepreneurs a valuable perspective on comprehending and managing the complexities of their ventures. By recognizing that their business consists of interconnected components, each with its role, entrepreneurs can approach problem-solving, strategy development, and decision-making with a more systematic and holistic mindset.

Embracing this metaphor underscores the importance of patience, persistence, and the gradual assembly of a coherent whole in achieving a deeper understanding of their business and its potential for success.