Could you believe that everyone out there around you is bright, creative and inventive and is truly capable of innovation? Innovation may come from anywhere, in fact from everywhere. Everyone can become innovative, it’s a combination of your unique abilities, what I call your superpowers, ‘your instinctive advantage’ and your ability to make the right connection between the experiences that you capture from your environment, consciously or subconsciously. For instance, many successful innovators working in Silicon Valley come from different backgrounds, but we see everyone there works to scale his or her innovation journey and new startups emerge every day. So, what drives these innovations? What makes these innovative minds suddenly more innovative? The answer is their environment, an innovative culture and environment is really, really important for bringing innovation, a culture or an environment that provides the experiences or that simply promotes the notion of capturing thoughts and experiences. Once these experiences are captured, they enhance or develop the skills of an ideator.
When you as an ideator learn to capture experiences you start seeing new possibilities and only then you would be able to break old thinking patterns, make new connections and gain new perspectives.
The way we think, the way we connect with others, the way we connect with the world around us, all play a role in generating new ideas. Ideas are not time-bound, they come to us accidentally, not necessarily when we want them to. So, to come up with better ideas, those typical brainstorming sessions are not enough. You need to recognize that ideas constantly come to your mind, and you have to develop an obsession for acknowledging and capturing them. Whenever an idea pops into your head, capture it in the moment, don’t let it slip away. Sticking with a brainstorming routine is not always a good idea, try different times and locations instead. You can come up with great ideas while taking a shower, while seated at your desk during work hours, while driving, or even while doing the dishes. You can start your day with a brainstorming session, or you may go for it while having lunch or before going to bed, but it’s not necessary to stick with a routine, ideas can come any time e.g. during a walk, or while sitting on a bathroom chair. Your creativity has nothing to do with your position, at some instances creative ideas float in your mind while you are moving and at other instances this may happen when you are static. Diverse environmental settings may result in a variety of quality ideas.
New ideas arise by making changes in the existing ideas and by combining different ideas. The existing idea may convert into something different while we are in the process of making improvements to our original idea i.e. the process of refinement of our original idea may sometimes result in a completely different idea. Of course, we strive to make our original idea a viable one, and this process again may give us new ideas. When a new, disruptive idea appears, it doesn’t usually get implemented in its exact, original form. People make minor changes and improvements and in this way, this idea evolves. Each step along the way is intended to improve the previous model. This way old ideas make progress. And if you are an ideator, you must acknowledge this.
So, an ideator is not necessarily someone who presents or does something new, So, to be an ideator you don’t necessarily need to invent something entirely new, it’s simply enough to improve upon existing ideas.
It’s all about combinational creativity, something you discover can’t be completely new, it’s always a combination of some elements of old ideas. All you have to learn is the art of combining ideas in ways to come up with something revolutionary.
Our old ideas are like food ingredients that mix with one another to make a different food item. By mixing the ingredients in new and diverse ways, we are likely to get new and unique food ideas.
As new ideas come when old ideas evolve or when we make new connections among our existing ideas, creativity takes two forms, either it is evolutionary creativity or combinational creativity.
When you make new connections, your ideas are not just summed up, they are multiplied, ideas are like synergies i.e. the new whole is usually far greater than its parts. This multiplication is even more effective if you share ideas with others. You may share ideas with your peers, you may share ideas with people from other fields of knowledge. So, it’s also about collaboration to come up with a revolutionary idea, obviously the ideas that come from different minds may not come from the mind of a single individual.
Everyone is creative and truly capable of becoming an ideator, if we tap every person on our planet, we will surely be able to find innovative solutions to every problem we have.
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