Idea begins with I

Surprisingly so do so many of the words associated with generating and developing ideas, for example:

Imagination, inspiration, innovation and invention.
Insight, intuition, intelligence and inclination.
Immersion, inclusion, introspection and interpretation.
Inversion, intervention and intrusion
Infusion, immersion and implosion.
Illusion, impression and illustration.

There are more. It’s almost uncanny.

There’s an urban myth that being an ‘ideas person’ is a highly differentiated ability, confined to very few people.

Having been researching the amazing world of ideas for some time now for my new book THE VERY IDEA!, I am convinced it is untrue. We are all wired to come up with ideas, share ideas, and develop ideas. How else would we be able to navigate the complicated world away from work? How could we solve problems and spot opportunities? How could we think laterally and surprise family and friends? It is the facility that all of us have to produce and embrace ideas that makes us what we are.

So it’s no coincidence that idea starts with I. Or that all those words above that describe some idea-related activity or process also start with ‘I’. Every one of us is an ‘I’ – however hard sometimes it is to believe it, when our individuality seems to be marginalised by the pressures of the world of work. There may be no ‘I’ in team, as the cliché goes. But when it comes to thinking and being creative, to start with at least, it’s just me and my brain.

Having said all of this, two heads ARE better than one. Two people is the human world’s most effective and blissful coupling. Just imagine. Double that idea capacity. Double all those other ’I’ abilities. When have you ever shared an idea with a colleague, partner and friend, and not been stimulated and inspired to look at this aspect differently, to see more potential in that one?

But that doesn’t mean five or six heads are necessarily better than one. Frequently having more people in a meeting results in more egos, more hot air, less clarity and less progress.

If the meeting hasn’t delivered, go back to you and your brain, get the ideas flowing, use some of the ‘I’ words, and when you are ready, add a friend and his/her brain. You won’t go far wrong!

Image: Stockimo | www.picfair.com

Read more at https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/idea-begins-i#RlIVSs0whHRpUxJt.99

What’s the best idea you never had?

2017 is my year of the idea. Having researched and written endlessly and passionately about decision making and meetings for the last six years, I am now going to be concentrating on the rocket fuel for both Smart Decision Making and the Mote Meeting System – powerful ideas.
I am fascinated by how we come up with ideas, how we share them by thinking together, how we develop them, and how we use them to achieve the outcomes and successes that business continually challenges us to achieve. It’s a big subject!

I am also fascinated by the other side of the coin – the times when we should have had a great idea, but didn’t. Also interested in the times we had the germ of a great idea, but didn’t succeed in selling it or exploiting it. That is why I have asked you the question in the headline. Can you think of occasions when your business or personal life might have been transformed if only you’d had a killer idea or successfully pitched it? What went wrong? Was it your fault – or someone else’s? Was there anything more – or different – that you could have done?

If love is what makes the world go round, ideas are truly what enable us to understand it and change it. We live in a world of big money, big numbers and big data. Yet individuals – even very powerful ones – can’t have much influence over the money, the numbers and the data.

How very different with ideas! We can’t solve problems (or even understand them) without ideas. We cannot appreciate opportunities, let alone realise them, without ideas. We need ideas to take to meetings. In the meetings we have to contribute to the refinement and finessing of ideas. When we are part of a decision making team we must treat ideas as the raw material for solutions, outcomes and transformations.

There is an urban myth that only some of us are capable of coming up with any ideas, let alone great, game-changing ones. I have been extensively researching and trawling for insights among academics, business gurus, philosophers and psychologists. I believe strongly that we all can be idea generators, idea sharers, idea developers, and idea communicators. We just have to have confidence, and take some tips on board – the most important of which is that thinking together in a team is just as valuable a skill as dreaming up original ideas in the bath.

A lifetime in advertising has given me a deep respect for ideas, without which marketers can’t make their brands successful and competitive. But admen use the idea word both for ingredients (the ‘big idea’ in a pitch) and the finished dish. There is usually a lot of hard work in between the eureka moment and the awards ceremony. To become a true idea-meister we need put the same priority on the plated dish as on the promising ingredient. We also need to have as much respect for your idea and their idea as ‘my idea’.

And there is invaluable learning for us all from the missed opportunities, the botched decisions and the ideas we never had.
This is David’s Marketing Society blog for January 2017. Read more at https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/what%E2%80%99s-best-idea-you-never-had#rSokV5C7EbPo5Dzc.99