// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Big Picture Thinkers: 7 Secrets

Thinking big is an ability of mine. This can be annoying to many and an asset to others, but in either case is related to the way I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Fortunately for me, thinking big was modeled well and often in my career as a communication designer and strategist. The ability to think big first hit home in my early career as a result of the tutelage of Lauren Ciesa of the design firm of Ciesa & Associates in one of my formative design experiences in East Lansing Michigan. Lauren taught me what design can do for a companies' bottom line and the difference between strategy and decoration. Later, under the guidance of Jim Thomas of the JD Thomas Company, I learned how design and content were one. He taught me how to think big, and how great design thinkers are valued and compensated professionally as a result of the value this adds to a business model.

So being interested and involved as such, I came across an article which in theory shows how you might also become a better big picture thinker.

Here goes:

From CEOs to independent professionals to work at home moms, Big Picture Thinkers inspire others and lead the way in their fields. Without their insights and actions, our world would be lacking in innovation, new products, and fresh approaches.

Now there is a way for you to connect with your larger vision and see it through to success. You can bring out the creative thinker in you by following these seven success tips. Whatever direction you're headed, these strategies will help you move forward and make the most of your natural strengths and great ideas.

1. Catch your ideas
No matter how outrageous or silly, catch your ideas and revisit them from time to time. You might have a diamond in the rough that you can't yet see. Write it down, tell it to someone, draw a picture, pace the floor, use whatever technique helps you remember and develop your ideas, use it!

2. Understand your strengths
There is an old saying that goes something like this: Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. A big challenge for creative people and entrepreneurs is concentrating your efforts on what comes easily and effortlessly. To pinpoint your strengths you can take a formal assessment, but I often ask clients to start with a simple question and jot down whatever comes to mind: If I could devote my life to serving others- and still have the money and lifestyle I need- what would I do? How would it look?

3. Avoid “overwhelm”
Overwhelm can be described as either having too much on your plate or PERCEIVING what you have to be too much. The first step to take is getting real with time management. If your time management skills are poor, then you will feel overwhelmed and it will zap your energy and your focus. Next, learn how to say "No." Accepting too many responsibilities will burn you out, blur your focus, and zap your big picture thinking gifts.

4. Listen
What do you hear people asking for? What are they NOT asking for? What are they griping about? Become a great listener in all your interactions. Ask open ended questions (ones that can't be answered with a yes or no). Keep your ear to the buzz and maybe you'll zero in on the next big thing.

5. Develop your intuition
Learn to trust your hunches and listen for inner nudges. Your next great idea may already be inside of you yearning to break free. Visionary thinkers often act on these hunches. Become best friends with your intuition and see new possibilities come to you.

6. Talk about your ideas
Create a personal board of directors: a supportive group of people who you respect, trust, and encourage you. Ask for their honest feedback, brainstorm with them, or call on them when you need help.

7. Give your mind time to wander
If you're sitting in front of a computer frustrated because a solution isn't presenting itself, then change your location. Take a walk. Get out and play. Get out and do something (anything!) other than what you SHOULD be doing. Studies show that the most creative, innovative thinkers are not slaves to the desk. They add variety to their lives and keep their minds sharp by enjoying all the gifts the world has to offer.

Big Picture Thinkers have the natural gift to see the potential in just about anything. When you sharpen your visionary skills, you too can enjoy success and joy in all aspects of life and business.

( via Nancy Marmolejo @ comadrecoaching )

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6 Comments:

Blogger Travis Thrasher said...

Excellent blog. Thanks. I'm going to print these out and keep them handy.

8:44 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

No doubt the list is worth studying. Hey, aren't you an award winning recognized something or another? Though I yearn for the day we will stop using phrasing like "award winning" in our vocabulary. Anyway, I appreciate how Nancy from Comadrecoaching says..."In short, I help business owners fall back in love with their work." That phrasing sounds cool. Sounds like she does bring value to the table from what I can tell on her website. But a big picture thinker's website might benefit by copy that sounds less marketing-speak and more conversational. Thanks for stopping by, award winning novelist Travis Thrasher–I mean you last book wWAS a top 5 fiction in 2006 as of booksense, right?

6:52 AM  
Blogger Travis Thrasher said...

You're hillarious.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Liz Ness said...

WOW! I've been away from my desk a bit. Now, upon my return, I am met with all of these awesome goodies on your blog! LOVE this post, too! Very motivational! (Imagine me rubbing my hands together while the gears in my head are turning...heh-heh!)

6:07 PM  
Blogger Todd Watkins said...

I love the idea of a personal board of directors. Jim Collins mentioned this idea at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last year and I thought it sounded really cool.

8:08 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Also it's like an advisory board for small biz of sorts. The idea of people who have your concerns at heart, plus experience and a fresh perspective seems highly appealing. Thanks for stopping by Todd.

9:49 PM  

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