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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
With rendition switcher


Question: How can business leaders foster a sense of trust among staff who may be in different buildings or indeed different countries?

Ram Charan: If you’re in a leadership position, remind yourself every day: you’re a leader of people first, not a leader of numbers. In a global game, you’re going to have by definition, people working with you and for you that are in different cultures, different languages as mother tongues, that do work in different government environments, and their image of social systems are different. You need to be successful to know these about your people. You need to have patience to learn about them. You need to earn their respect; you need to earn their trust.

In the virtual global game, do not confuse communications with emails. Communication is a human touch, emails is not a human touch. So you need to figure out a way to have the human touch with the people you are working with.

In a company like 3M, some 55% of their revenues come from the non-North American geography. And there are fantastic leaders there who are technology companies, CEOs locally, but they have the human touch. They have Chinese working with them, Indians working with them, the Europeans working with them, the Brazilians working with them. But the first rule is the people side.

Recorded January 4, 2011
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd

More from the Big Idea for Thursday, June 20 2013

Knowledge Work

Does it matter if we still make stuff? In today's lesson, Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih argues there is a false dichotomy between knowledge work that produces ideas and a differe... Read More…


Be a Leader of People, Not ...

Newsletter: Share: