Think Big: David Shaw advises, know what great looks like.
Thinking big is often a key to success. Endeavors of many kinds benefit from an insightful perspective of what great looks like.
Thinking Big was the focus of a recent conference where I gave a keynote speech on the importance of that perspective in business and in life generally. My presentation focused on big thinkers that I admire and on several themes that create a framework for expansive thinking in today’s world.
As a role model for big thinking I highlighted the life of my friend E. Robert Kinney, a big thinker from Maine who passed away in 2013.
A critical theme I highlighted was the importance of understanding that we now live in an exponential and global world after mankind’s long history of local and linear living. As an example of this, 30 linear steps take us across a room, but 30 exponential steps take us around the globe. The US Dept of Defense demonstrated the power of exponential thinking via a contest to see who could most quickly find a number of red weather balloons placed in undisclosed locations around the country. A team from MIT’s Media Laboratory started late but won the prize in just hours by using the exponential power of social networks to engage in the search.
I made the film below for the conference, highlighting examples of big thinking within my experience and exponential change. One example is the amazing exponential reduction in the cost of genome sequencing of a very short time period.