Brainstorming & Other Big Picture Thinking Strategies

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  • 0:05 What Is Big Picture Thinking?
  • 0:36 Strategies for Big…
  • 3:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Brainstorming, removing boundaries and focusing on possibilities are just a few ways to increase big picture thinking in a business. This lesson focuses on coming up with innovative, fresh ideas and solutions in business.

What Is Big Picture Thinking?

Big picture thinking is a skill many people have for coming up with new solutions, fresh opportunities and brainstorming ideas. People who are said to think in big pictures have creative concepts and innovative thoughts. Working with someone who has big picture thinking skills can be exciting because of the ideas that are generated and frustrating because of the lack of consideration of execution details. Big picture thinkers are not typically detail-oriented. They come up with the ideas and hand it off to other people to execute.

Strategies for Big Picture Thinking

There are strategies that can help a big picture thinker come up with ideas. Let's take a look at a few of those now.

Have 'Thinking' Time

Sometimes the inspiration comes in the shower; other times a big picture thinker may get ideas driving in their car. It can happen at just about any time. It is helpful to create time and space to allow creative thinking and new ideas.

Target Specific Topics

Are you trying to solve a problem? Are you wondering what markets your company could enter next year? Do you need to motivate your team to exceed their current performance? Having a specific area of the business to target will help focus your thoughts to the solutions or opportunities you may not have thought of previously.


Your company is not on target to meet the sales goals, and it's critical your team come up with some fresh ideas. You write at the top of the white board, 'What is the one thing that will increase our sales this year?' At your weekly team meeting, you schedule 45 minutes for brainstorming, allowing every team member to come up with as many ideas as possible, as quickly as possible. In the course of brainstorming, you don't stop to consider whether the idea is feasible or reasonable. The goal is to get on a roll and come up with a wide range of ideas. Some may seem crazy, while others may seem completely unreasonable. Regardless, each idea is captured on the whiteboard.

After the 45 minutes passes, you review all of the ideas and move into the next phase - analyzing the ideas. While analyzing is an important step in the process of creating a plan, it is vital team members don't get sidetracked during the brainstorming phase by discussing the specific details of ideas. Brainstorming is meant to be a fast generator of ideas.

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