Create and Share BIG Ideas

The History of the World

David Christian - TED TalkThis Video is rated by TED itself as one of “11 Must-see TED talks”. High praise indeed! It’s by Australian Historian David Christian and it’s dramatically called “The history of our world in 18 minutes”.

If you’re interested in BIG history, astronomy, chemistry, physics and biology you’ll love this talk.

And, if you’re interested in stories, message-making and sharing your BIG idea, you’ll love it too. And, that’s my focus in this post. In particular, I want to focus on two specific things – creating and sharing your BIG idea.

Create Your BIG Idea

Firstly, you need to create your BIG idea. And, Christian presents a relatively simple way to do this: map the history of the world based on the key thresholds or turning points. For example, if you’re a leadership consultant then map the history of leadership. If you’re into marketing, then map this.

It sounds easy and it will take a bit of work to research and model this. The good news is that someone has probably already done this and you can typically reference their work.

If you do this well it will create a new insight into where we are at today. For instance, Christian points to how fast we human beings, are evolving and the crucial impact of accumulating knowledge.

If you’re really keen, you can then speculate into the future about what is coming. And, if you can do all this then surely you will be a leader in your field with your BIG idea.

Three Actions:

  1. Map the history of your field
  2. Tell us what it means for us today
  3. Bonus Points: Tell us what might happen next.

Share Your BIG Idea

Secondly, you need to share your BIG idea in a compelling way. Here’s three ways to do this:

  1. Present – Create an engaging presentation. Don’t wait to be invited to TED, instead create a video of your story today.
  2. Visuals – Christian’s visuals are brilliant. His use of a single diagram, a timeline, is a very powerful spine to his compelling story. Create your timeline as a single diagram that captures your BIG idea.
  3. Experience – Give us a real-time experience of your BIG idea. Take note at the 4-minute mark to see how Christian gives us a simple and super-effective experience of the Big Bang.


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