When I worked at Motorola (back when a 300M drive took two men to carry and was the size of a beer fridge), I was the Design Engineer for a couple of data communications products called statistical multiplexers. That meant I was the Engineering guy in charge of the paper work. What I typically did at least once a week was go for a walk around the plant.
That meant I'd wander over to Shipping/Receving where the parts came in the door and the finished product went back out, the Stock Room, Manufacturing, Purchasing, the Heat Room (units were burned in for 72 hours at 40C, about 105F), Final Test and Field Service. Along the way I'd chat with people about how things were going. That would give me a heads-up on issues before they become Full-Blown Crises.
If you're not in a Manufacturing setup and it's just you and 1,499 other cubicle dwellers, you can still do the same thing .. drop in on your boss's colleagues and chat, maybe come across a VP in the hallway. You gotta stay plugged in to what's happening. Get plugged in to the gossip network, not so much as a contributor but certainly as a subscriber. An organization is composed of many personalities, and each personalty has its own set of criteria and priorities.
Hopefully that doesn't sound too Zen for you. :) Let us know how it turns out.
but my friends call me T.