What inspires “big idea” people? Asked another way, where do great ideas come from?
Many of the so-called “left brain” or analytical people I’ve known over the years, including several managers and directors, rejects almost the idea that some people are particularly intuitive and inspired. Well, maybe they are and maybe they are not. But scientists believe that intuition can be a powerful factor in human decision-making and idea creation.
Intuition can be as simple as listening to a little voice in your head, sensing a risk or something valuable, or to follow your own internal “one person focus group”.
But where does it come from – intuition? Good question. It’s probably a relic from an evolutionary survival mechanism. An “intuitive” caveman senses danger and hides in his cave and avoid thus being eaten by some wild saber-toothed tigers. When he survived, he passed this instinct. It is in any case a theory.
In any case, the human intuition probably been falling for some time, due to an increasing dependence of our overdeveloped neocortex, the sense of logic center of the brain, and of technology.
So we should not even go too much into the field with our newfound penchant for gadgets, social media, and instant / here-and-now communication. You may not notice or feel anything when you are distracted. Very creative value may be lost in the bustle and constant check of emails, text messages and news. The story gives at least very strong evidence that intuition plays an important role in the scientific, technological and business innovation.
For example, Albert Einstein, against all logic, occupied by light. The passion for light and his famous thought experiments, where he pondered what he would see if he was riding on a beam of light, led to the theory of relativity and E = MC2, one of the greatest discoveries in the history of physics.
In his book “Idea Man: Memoirs of a co-founder of Microsoft,” Paul Allen said, he came up with the great idea that made that Microsoft made more money than almost any company in history: A small licensed per copy of their PC operating system instead of a single license fee.
And what made entrepreneur Mark Cuban to sell Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $ 5.9 billion in shares and then immediately hedge their position in the shares, in a market that was on top of the dot-com bubble? All the so-called experts followed the market down and lost billions.
I have worked with a wide range of innovative entrepreneurs, software developers and managers in the course of decades. Here it is often seen that there are five relatively common factors conducive to intuition and leading to groundbreaking ideas:
Concentration and focus. Do not be upset. Now it can mean music, thoughts of cheering people or perhaps adventure. People concentrates and focuses in different ways. Do what works for you.
A team. There is something special when a group of people gather in a room. It inspires them to do great things. How it works is described in “Organizing Genius”, an inspirational book by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman.
Brainstorming. Ideation, write ideas together on white table or via an online idea system – it works for many people. Others do it better alone with a glass of wine or a lot of coffee.
Success breeds success. There is undoubtedly a certain momentum or a positive feedback loop that comes from success and that you are doing something you feel really good and when you sense that you do “great things”. It can be self-fulfilling.
Do what you love to do. Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head when he said, “The only way to accomplish something bigger is to love what you do. If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle.” Hats off to that!