What Is Big Picture Thinking in Business?

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  • 0:01 What Is Big Picture Thinking?
  • 0:48 Big Picture Thinking…
  • 2:18 Examples of Big…
  • 3:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Big picture thinkers change the world - they create exciting products, new opportunities and generate non-stop ideas. Big picture thinkers can help a business move ahead in profitable avenues. This lesson discusses the value of having big picture thinking in your business.

What Is Big Picture Thinking?

Big picture thinking is the way a person looks at problems, opportunities and situations. A big picture person often likes to brainstorm and come up with many ideas. They are idea generators, often thinking of huge changes, large projects and substantial opportunities to create new business. Innovation, creativity and big ideas describe the way a big picture person thinks. Their ideas are often called 'out of the box.'

Most big picture thinkers will not get bogged down in the details of executing the plans. They may appreciate getting the details handled, but they will rarely be the ones who manage the to-do list for projects or plans. They are most effective when they can create the idea and hand off the execution to someone who is better suited to handle the fine points.

Big Picture Thinking in Business

If you are a business manager or business owner, one of the most important qualities you will want to watch for is the ability to think big. While you want a mix of detail-oriented people to ensure the projects are completed, having people who can help shape the future of the business and create profitable ideas can be the difference between a moderately successful business and a business that is a household name.

If you own a local ice cream shop, you may be doing well. In fact, let's assume you earned $100,000 last year, an amount worth celebrating. You've added a couple of part-time team members to cover the busy evening shift when the demand goes up for ice cream. You start to notice that one of the young men you hired is sharing ideas with you. It starts simply, such as improving cleaning processes at night. As he becomes more acclimated to the business, his ideas start growing. A few of his ideas were not feasible, but the ideas you have implemented have really improved the shop's operations.

During his 6-month review, he shared some ideas with you about expanding the business. In fact, he was talking about having ice cream shops across the nation. At first, this idea sounded outlandish and shocking. But you can't seem to get it out of your mind. The three weeks following his review have left you thinking about expanding the ice cream business and becoming a chain of awesome ice cream shops. While you never thought about this possibility before, you are starting to see how it could be possible. Having a big picture thinker on your team has already transformed your business and huge opportunities are ahead!

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