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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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A Christmas Bonus For Innovators

November 30, 2012, 12:00 AM

In a previous post, Jack Hidary described the process of visioneering, or how to solve grand challenges "just at the edge of human grasp." 

Hidary's answer is taken from his experience with the X Prize Foundation, which convenes two-day workshops with some of the world's greatest innovators that are designed to "increase the serendipity quotient of all the people in the room."

What's the Big Idea?

So where do you take it from there? How do you make those types of workshops more than just morale boosters and translate all of the excitement into real breakthroughs for your company? Hidary, who has built his career as an entrepreneur in the finance and technology sectors, suggests we need to reevaluate how we incentivize employees. 

"We know that we get what we bonus," he says. "We get what we measure." Too often today, however, we create bonus structures that really only focus on things like revenue and profit. Now, we all like revenue and profit, but if you don't create a bonus structure for new ideas and innovation, should you expect it to just magically happen? Probably not, Hidary argues.

Watch the video here:

What's the Significance?

Hidary says that CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere must look ahead one year from now and ask themselves what kind of bonuses they want to be handing out to employees. Is the idea to reward high performance on day-to-day activities? You obviously need some of that, Hidary says, but that shouldn't constitute 100 percent of the bonus structure. 

"Keep 20 or 30 percent for a new kind of bonus," Hidary says, "a bonus that recognizes breakthrough new pathways for the company, experiments." Some of these experiments will be failures, no doubt. But others will surely be successes, some of them "far beyond anyone's imagination," Hidary says.

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A Christmas Bonus For Innov...

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