The term "holistic thinking" refers to a big picture mentality in which a person recognizes the interconnectedness of various elements that form larger systems, patterns and objects. Thinking holistically is the opposite of analyzing something, which involves breaking down a larger system into its details.
Holistic medicine is a prominent example of holistic thinking. A medical professional who believes in holistic care considers the relationship between the mind, body and spirit. For example, holistic doctors don't just provide patients with medications. Instead, they look at ways to improve life balance and eradicate health problems from their root source, such as high stress or bad nutrition.
Holistic thinking is important for a company leader who must understand how the different functions of the business work together to achieve shared goals. While an IT professional is mostly concerned with his department and role, the CEO must recognize how IT contributes to the overall business and profit objectives. Holistic thinking allows a leader to designate the responsibilities of each department while keeping the big picture in mind.
While holistic thinkers may receive criticism for lacking attention to detail, they may also experience less stress during minor hiccups on the way to achieving big-picture goals.