Where do ideas come from?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Tommydickson

I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently. In a way, it is the ‘holy grail’ of innovation, one that many innovation books are trying to answer, or help you with – if you can understand where ideas come from, and refine that, so you get better ideas more often, then one can win notoriety/fame and fortune.

As with many things however, it’s just not that easy. Coming up with ‘good ideas’ is an art. Sometimes we think they ‘pop’ into our heads, and we don’t quite know how one minute we had no idea, and the next we are empowered by a thought that we want to develop and share with others.

From reading around on this, and thinking about it, one clear message appears to come out – ideas are often (but not exclusively) not things that come quickly, from a single person in a single moment (as many people believe, in a sudden ‘Eureka’ moment, or having an apple fall on your head), but rather ‘grow’ over a period of time from a network (it’s only the ‘realization/awareness’ of the idea, the ‘connecting of the dots’, that appears sudden).

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