The Truth About Big-Picture Thinkers

Do you share the six traits they have in common?

Gil Gershoni

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Some see a dance. Choreographer Charlotte Edmonds sees a story of resilience. Some see a bunch of caffeinated freelancers. Entrepreneur Pip Jamieson sees a creative-class movement. Some see a campaign. I see a cultural conversation.

This instinctive ability to zoom out is what has fueled the creativity and careers of many big-picture thinkers. While we differ in what we do and what fields we’re in, we look at the world in remarkably similar ways.

It comes down to a top-down perspective that considers all information as relevant information.

It doesn’t matter if it’s measurement and movement or design and business. To us, nothing is unrelated. This intellectual synthesis is a firehose we direct toward any curiosities and challenges in our paths. It’s also a trait often found among dyslexics like me, which helps propel us to the forefront of our industries.

Recently, an actor, surgeon, researcher and experience designer joined Edmonds, Jamieson and me at a virtual salon to discuss just this. The synergies were often and obvious during “The Bigger Picture Salon with Amazing Dyslexics” (re-watch here), presented by the authors of The Bigger Picture Book of Amazing Dyslexics and the Jobs They Do and Gershoni Creative, my brand-building agency powered by Dyslexic Design Thinking (what’s that?). In our lively discussion, these similarities became clear:

Six Traits of Big-Picture Thinkers

1. We see problems differently.

For every one problem, there are a hundred ways in. We approach problems straight on but we also look at them sideways, backwards, up-close and far away. I do this so often that if I cannot see all the facets of a problem, I know there must be some discord. In the case of a rebrand, I see the creative challenge as a giant sun with a gravitational pull on all the other pieces that orbit it — from packaging to partnerships. For me, it’s all there in a 3-D space. So if there’s no purposeful design or if the values are misaligned, the…

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Gil Gershoni

Founder and creative director, Gershoni Creative. Frequently speaks on dyslexia and its impact on problem solving, design thinking and workplace collaboration.