What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Family-Friendly, For Free

April 15, 2011, 7:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

New research assessing both the benefits and costs of family-friendly work practices, such as offering job-sharing and part-time work, flexibility for childcare emergencies, etc. An extensive study examined the effect of family-friendly policies on hard variables such as firm sales per employee and return on capital, and used a large database of firms from the US, the UK, Germany, and France.

What's the Big Idea?

What they found initially was a positive relation between how many family-friendly practices a firm employed and its financial performance. On further analysis they then found that firms applying family-friendly practices had already been good to start with. In other words, well-performing firms implemented family-friendly practices, but this did not increase their financial performance. However, what the research does show is that family-friendly practices come “for free”; they are expensive, but the benefits cover those costs.


Family-Friendly, For Free

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