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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John Mackey on How and When to Be an Extrovert

November 4, 2011, 12:00 AM

What's the Big idea?

In 1980, visionary CEO John Mackey co-founded Whole Foods and eventually turned it into a rapidly growing, solidly profitable business. And then he lived happily ever after.

Well, actually, it wasn't quite that simple. As Mackey learned, growing and sustaining a business is a full-time commitment. And once Whole Foods had its footing, his role in the company changed dramatically. There are certain skills that are required to launching a successful venture--namely, recognizing an opportunity and formulating a vision. And then there is the messy business of carrying it out.

Mackey found that this crucial stage of his business required him to act more as an extrovert, rather than an introvert. In other words, Mackey needed to walk the floors, interact with his employees, and transport his vision, in order to insure that others would carry it out.

Watch the video here:

What's the Significance?

As Mackey tells Big Think, as a business grows, a leader has to grow with it. While he used to think it would be enough to be creative, if he failed to be an extrovert, it would have constrained the company.

This post is part of the series Inside Employees' Minds, presented by Mercer.


John Mackey on How and When...

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