Man has achieved much since the time when he first lived in caves, and barely survived to the next day. Now man can boast of having walked on the moon, and having invented numerous technological miracles.
It seems there is a genetically in-built driver force in man, which makes him never satisfied with whatever condition he finds himself.
Man continually strives to better his living conditions, or just becomes creative for the sole sake of innovation and creativity.
And this is where ideation play its crucial role; ideas are the essence of change and growth, the backbone on which innovation and inventions ride.
Ideas are mental conceptions that we develop as a means to understand and solve issues in our everyday world. According to a renowned American author:
" Every human being, created in the image of God is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator- Individuality, power to think and to do.
The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thought.
Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the rest fields opened for research in nature and revelation.
Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions.
—Ellen G. White- (Happiness in Education)
The only consistent thing in the world is change. There is a constant need to adapt our approach to our environment, and only ideas which would lead to innovation is capable of achieving this.
'Entrepreneurship is no longer just a business term anymore; it’s a way of life.
To stay relevant in today's knowledgeable society one needs to keep their idea conceptualization process colorful and well informed.
In generating ideas it is crucial to have relevant knowledge on the subject issue. A rich bank of knowledge is the fertile ground on which ideas can germinate and flourish.
FINDING NEMO was such a detailed animated movie, full with marine creatures whose personality was fully captured in the characters of the movie.
One major secret for its success was the fact that everyone connected directly and even in-directly with the making of the movie was made to undergo classes in marine biology.
The point exactly? The ideas which translated into making the movie superb where all gotten from a fertile knowledge of marine biology! This is the best way we can prepare ourselves for germinating ideas.
Take home- every business or entrepreneur must be ready to come up with ideas and solutions; most of them instantaneous. To do this effectively, the entrepreneur need to realize that generating good ideas is a skill that can be developed and nurtured incessantly.
HOW TO GENERATE IDEAS
Have an open mind - Too many times we are restricted by boundaries we set on ourselves, for some people it’s due to deeply rooted religious sentiments, or narrow minded cultural indoctrination.
In the early 1700’s, the Roman Catholic Church held dominance in all matters of religion and astronomy, and the belief that every part of our solar system revolved around our planet ‘earth’ was generally accepted and endorsed by the church.
Galileo Galilee a renowned astronomer at that time discovered this to be an erroneous ideology: with the aid of proficient telescope and research he discovered that the earth was not fundamental to the universe, rather the earth revolved around the sun.
Many of the scientist and astronomers of Galileo Galilee’s time refuted this theory and plotted to have him punished for promoting such a blasphemous theory. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment (majority wins the vote).
Today we can easily criticize the folly of that majority of scholars, clergymen and prominent scientists who refuted the theories of Galilee, who rather than lend themselves to at least understand what he was trying to say, chose to close all their faculties of reasoning because of traditions and belief in a fallacious doctrine.
Truth is, we are constantly in the same danger of falling in this category of skeptics- when we let sentiments and superstition override our reasoning. Having an open mind is the only way of opening ourselves for the potential and numerous truths and ideas our limited existence would allow us.
Realize There Is Need To Solve A Problem – Some of the greatest idea we would come up with during our lifetime will be orchestrated by the pressure that arises from difficult periods and situations in our life.
When people complain about issues such as; 'I can't make this work', ‘Lack of opportunities’, ‘Lack of finance’ etc. The proper response is to make them realize that; they haven’t actually isolated the problem from their complaint.
For example if a person doesn’t have money and he realizes it as a problem, he would realize there is need to solving this problem by asking himself; why don’t I have money?
Did I spend more than I earned? How can I get money now? And how much money do I need?
By asking the right questions, the mind becomes open to a stream of ideas that would invariably lead to possible solutions for the given problem.
So when next you find yourself in the middle of a complaint, take the time to ask yourself, what can I do about this situation?
In essence, just remember always that every disappointment could be turned into a blessing and every adversity could become advantage.
If only you are ready to address such situations with a positive mind-set of: creative problem-solving, and this is only achievable when we prepare our minds to generating ideas.
Connect the Unconnected – Sitting under an apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton was pondering the universe, the awe with which our solar system was held in place, the steadfast continuity with which the sun, moon and earth moved with gracious synchronism, suddenly GBAM!!!
An apple dropped from a tree branch and hit him squarely on the head.
Sir Isaac Newton found a way to connect an apple dropping on his head with the laws of motion and gravity.
Whilst it is true we all have moments when we shout Eureka! We shouldn’t forget that we can only appreciate such moments if we connect the unconnected.
Every-day events have so many possible permutations which should never be disregarded by one who wishes to improve his idea generating skills.
Having an open eye to observe such events is of paramount importance.
Question everything – How many legs does a spider have? Well a spider is an insect, and all insects have six (6) legs, I haven’t really counted myself but I was told by the great Aristotle that a spider has six legs.
And so for hundreds of years many believed that a spiders had six (6) legs, until someone took the time to count!
While growing up, we are bludgeoned with a lot of dogmas and passed-down-theorems which should govern our lives, activities, and thinking pattern.
This may not necessarily be a bad socio-cultural norm, but the disadvantage is that; most of us grow into a stereotyped pattern of living and interacting with our environment.
In order for our minds to truly grasp great truths it should be filled with an eager yearning, a true desire to know and understand.
If we can fill our mind with an insatiable zeal for obtaining knowledge, then we can well be on the road to expanding already known truths, and this is because we have made our minds a fertile ground for the sprouting of new ideas and truths.
Be Random – It is profitable to specialize in a given field and generate outstanding ideas given the cushioning of our background knowledge in that field, but sometimes our brain has the ability to come up with ideas on issues we barely know details on.
The act of being random has a unique way of opening up our intellects and thrusting our known into the unknown. The result is a hybrid of new possibilities and opportunities.
This form of generating ideas can only be appreciated by people who are neither short-sighted nor narrow-minded, but rather by people who can visualize the Mona-Lisa in every canvas, the taj-Mahal in every lake or the pyramid in every sand dune.
The act of developing ideas is the best way to develop and sharpen our innate creative capabilities. It is a skill that needs to be developed to its maximum capacity in all of our journey through life.
The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression; the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit.