What is a formal word to describe someone who looks at the bigger picture

closed as unclear what you're asking by ermanen, J.R., Tragicomic, Mitch, tchrist Oct 10 '15 at 13:32

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • What do you mean by 'bigger picture?". Please elaborate your question. – user66974 Oct 8 '15 at 19:01
  • That can be a positive trait or sometimes a negative trait. Can you provide a little more context such as using it in a sentence (leaving the word in question as a blank). – Kristina Lopez Oct 8 '15 at 19:01
  • similar to this question. – KillingTime Oct 8 '15 at 19:06
  • " Theorician " ? – Graffito Oct 8 '15 at 21:06
  • Context is key. Could be strategist, pragmatist or just philosopher. – stevesliva Oct 10 '15 at 3:22

"hedgehog". From an ancient Greek fragment attributed to Archilochus: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ' ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα ("a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing"). See The Hedgehog and the Fox.

  • 1
    An interesting candidate, but we should add a caveat that this probably wouldn't count as a "formal word." I've never heard anyone say at a meeting, "We need to get Greg in here, he's a real hedgehog, and we need someone who can see the bigger picture." Still, it's an interesting option that's worth mentioning. – J.R. Oct 8 '15 at 22:29

I do not know of any specific word for this kind of person, "generalist" would come to mind as someone who takes a general view of things.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.