A Creativity Dilemma and Its Solution

Everybody knows that to have a good idea you have to have a lot of ideas.  No less a luminary than Linus Pauling said as much.  The good ideas only emerge when you weigh them against a wide range of ideas.

However, to become world class at anything, you have put in the hours and the effort.  If you are distracted by lots of different ideas and projects, you won’t get anywhere.  You have to stick to the one idea and see it through, despite setbacks.  This is stated in Martin Seligman’s book “Flourish” and backed by research (see the chapter on GRIT).

There is a natural contradiction in sticking to one idea, at the exclusion of all others, versus having lots of ideas.  What happens if the first idea you have is a bad idea?  All the effort will be for nothing.

How do you both have a lot of ideas, exploring them all, but stick to just one idea until you succeed at it?  If you get lucky in choosing the first idea and it happens to be a good one, you’re ok.  But that doesn’t mean you didn’t miss an even better idea.

This is my solution.  Becoming good at “having ideas” is a discipline too.  You can become good at generating ideas, especially good ones, by diligently sticking with this project.  After a lot of application, hours and effort, you can produce great ideas because you can produce many ideas with facility.  Your speed of creating ideas and speed of learning how to create ideas, along with your studied reflection upon your ideas and the creativity skills you develop, can, with application, allow you to become better at generating ideas than anybody else.  Substantially better.  You can become a world class innovator, if you put in the effort.  (I was tempted to say “you can become world class at having ideas, if you put your mind to it” 🙂  ).

If you are such an idea generator, how do those ideas become real?  Well, you have no choice.  You have to collaborate with people that have the determination, character and self-discipline to see your best idea through, with no distractions.  They mustn’t give up.  They must see it through.  If you have lots of great ideas, you are going to need a lot of single-minded collaborators, one per idea.

The hard part is in convincing such collaborators that your ideas are world class and that focusing on the best one is the key to their success.  Unfortunately, that’s a discipline too and one that takes world class application.  You need that expert too.

So there you have it.  If you are a world class idea generator who generates excellent ideas, you need a world class advocate that can convince world class executives that they can take your idea, execute upon it and succeed with it.

“Collaboraction”.  I’m afraid I don’t have a better answer than that.

But let me think on it…


About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: https://michaeltopic.wordpress.com/. There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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