The world is hungry for ideas. Idea means opportunities, ideas can be crafted and converted into money. Ideas can build business empires, can transform businesses, societies, countries and the world at large. But where is the idea factory?
Is necessity still the mother of ideas? It could be so, perhaps with the difference that the “necessity” is highly subjective based on time, place and person concerned. Somebody might feel the need for an idea to solve a problem, look for ideas to better serve existing customers, or even redesign a business model that nobody ever thought of. Birth of an idea requires multiple seeds in the process. If Toyota were not forced to think about managing cash flows in its early years, lean manufacturing would probably had not seen the daylight. If Newton were not sitting below an apple tree, his ideas on the force of gravitation probably had never been ignited. It appears that the birth of ideas requires the following elements:
- A problem situation that helps you recognize and cherish a problem in your mind
- An incubation period of the problem so that the problem gradually becomes an important one to solve
- A congenial environment that gives you time and space to think about ideas
- Some internal and external elements that provide food and fuel for ideas. For example, combine your past experience and current creative thinking along with silly ideas that people around you are talking about. These ideas might make you laugh, however, would help you work better towards reaching a creative idea. Yes, silly ideas are valuable because all it takes is to know how to rearrange and convert it into a workable idea. A lump of clay is not an idea, but making a clay bird out of it is an idea.
- Finally an igniting moment when you discover your magic idea. The magic moment can happen anytime, don’t force yourself to bring ideas out of your brain. It will show up naturally when your brain kicks that out at that magic moment.
It must be evident by now that nobody owns the full credit of an idea, provided the contribution made by the environment, other people and situation that lead to idea generation. Give everybody else the tacit gratitude for ideas that you share with the world. Everybody and everything else around you are important. At the end of the day, it is “your” idea, but everybody else has some credit in it.