Innovative Thinking

How does innovation begin?
Every few months, a light bulb in Tom Simpson’s office would burn out and someone would have to change it. Even fluorescents don’t last too long when they are on for overtime, cleaners and night security. A co-worker, Ray Johnson, came up with a new idea.

Combining several technologies from cellphone & laptop screens to channel low wattage LED lights, he put together a ‘superbulb’ that burned brighter, cooler and lasted way longer without the ‘laser beam’ effect of older LEDs. Another credit to the 3M Corporation who gives employees 15% innovation time.

TIP: As a business owner or manager, allow your people time specifically for creating new ideas or processes to benefit the business.

Steven Johnson, highly respected author on effects of today’s communication technology has studied where good ideas come from.

The recurring patterns

He sees these over and over:

The “slow hunch”

People working away at ideas over years that finally come together, when technology or materials are available, to form something innovative and new.

TIP: Don’t give up if the solution for your idea isn’t immediate.

The collision of “slow hunches”

This is a collision between smaller hunches or ideas that connect to solve problems. E.g. Tim Berners Lee who worked on several projects over a 10 year period before they finally came together to form the World Wide Web.

TIP: Don’t develop tunnel vision, keep your interests & work going in different areas.

Ideas need to collide with others’ ideas

The Internet actually facilitates this process, but basically we need to be willing to share and be free to use the ideas of others. You may only have half the solution!

TIP: Take time to exchange as many ideas as you can with others.

Take a further look at:
WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson – YouTube

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

Find out about Peter’s new ‘Advise.Learn.Grow’ program:

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