Where Science Meets Muse

First Ideas are Dangerous; Successive Generations Are the Stuff of Innovation

Posted by Plish on June 12, 2009

ideasa1 michaelplishka2009

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it’s the only one you have”Emile Chartier

Humans are designed to come up with solutions quickly.  It’s a requirement for survival of the species.  We’re not terribly fast, not the greatest at swinging through trees.  But we are pretty efficient at sizing up situations quickly and making decisions and picking a course of action.  In general, these first solutions are great for everyday problems and our ability to sort through data efficiently means we expend minimal amounts of energy doing so.

However, when it comes to creatively solving a problem,  first and faster is not always better, or more innovative. 

The elegant idea, the truly innovative solution is not spawned in the casual relationships of cause and effect that intermingle in those areas of our brains subject to easy recall.

No, it is spawned in the obtuse, deeper thoughts that usually don’t associate with each other; it comes from the forced marriage of opposites…

When coming up with ideas, even if one of your first born seems like the ideal solution, put it to the side (you can always come back to it) and keep creating ideas.  When it seems like there are no more ideas, you’ve entered the realm of innovation.  Then…

Find a random word, grab a random picture and ask what it has in common with your problem.

The ideas that start flowing, those are the golden children of creativity.


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