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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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.

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To Succeed, You Need to Play with Some Degree of Abandon

May 23, 2013, 12:00 AM

When Bode Miller was the fastest skier in the world, he seemed to be racing with reckless abandon. His all-or-nothing approach earned him Olympic and World Cup medals, as well as plenty of DNFs (Did Not Finish). And yet, there was method to this madness. The self-taught Miller employed a creative, idiosyncratic approach to alpine racing that amazed the experts. You're not supposed to be able to ski that way!

While Miller certainly had his flaws as a competitor, his knack for creative risk-taking was legendary. And we would all be for the better if we could channel this aspect of Miller's game, at least to some degree. 

Harvard Business School’s Robert Steven Kaplan argues in his new book, What You're Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential, that leaders want to promote people who are authentic, and not afraid to take risks. 

As Kaplan points out, these are intangible qualities that are often difficult to demonstrate in today's organizational environment. "Understanding who you are is a difficult thing to do," Kaplan says in the video below.  For instance, standing up for what you believe in can be a risky proposition, but that is precisely the quality that leaders look for. 

Do you act like an owner? Do you act like you have skin in the game? 

In the video below, Kaplan explains the intangibles that separate the good from the great. 

Watch here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


To Succeed, You Need to Pla...

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