I.D.E.A.s Evolve


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I discuss how ideas evolve from other ideas and that there really are no "new" ideas, only ones that assimilate through an evolution of other ideas creating breakthroughs for new services and products. We use the I.D.E.A. process... Ideas by Determined Evolution and Assimilation. For detailed notes on the slides, go to our temporary page: http://dev.createyourself.com.php53-8.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com/slideshare-on-i-d-e-a-s/

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  • Because of my co-founding of TheClubhou.se and other work outside of healthcare and public safety, I have recently launched Createyourself.com to take the idea generation and vetting process to the broad marketplace worldwide. This will be the perspective I BRING
  • In 1950 Sir Fred Hoyle first coined the term “Big Bang Theory” where he describes a moment where the universe equals zero (t=0) but where infinite energy also existed until there was Spontaneous Creation. I say that not only was there spontaneous creation, but more importantly it was where creativity originated. So, we’ll talk about this idea today.
  • In a separate talk, I argue the differences of Idea Evolution and True Innovation and conclude with that there was truly only original creativity and that all that we have done over the existence of humanity is evolved the idea of the universe to suit our needs by adding to it the discoveries of our World. While the approaches and analyses differ somewhat at various points, one of the major points of idea evolution revolves around destroying the myth of the “solitary genius.” Creativity doesn’t, in other words, happen in a vacuum – creative ideas are always inspired, nurtured, cajoled, and spurred forward by other ideas. Which means that creative people are always drawing on the work of others, consciously or unconsciously.
  • This is illustrated in two examples; the first we see one cave man giving credit to another for the idea of the wheel.
  • The second, comes from Mark Twain a letter to Helen Keller. He was reflecting on an incident years earlier when she had been charged – and acquitted – of plagiarism:“Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that ‘plagiarism’ farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral caliber and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten centuries and ten thousand men — but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his.  (Mark Twain’s Letters, Vol. 2 of 2”)
  • Today, I want to take that thought further and discuss how we actually evolve new ideas. Our discussion will be framed in the end by an acronym that I use, I.D.E.A.
  • We begin with talking about the brain a bit. I am sure there are some neurologist in the room, so please forgive the elementary level of our discussion. In 2000, Eric Kandel won the Nobel Prize for showing how humans produce a new thought. He demonstrated that the right side of our brain is just as analytical and logical as the left, and the left side is just as creative and intuitive as the right.
  • Thus, when it comes to idea generation, the whole brain is involved. Kandel's work also shows the human brain to be the greatest inventory managementsystem on Earth. From birth, our brain takes in stimuli, breaks them down, and then stores them in memory banks which are distributed throughout our brain. When presented with a particular challenge, our brain searches to see if there is any connection with what is already sitting in those memory banks.
  • When our brain finds a match, our memories assimilate with the new stimuli and we experience "Eureka!" moments if a novel thought that feels like a flash of insight is generated.
  • Recently, I was reading “I Invented the Modern Age by Richard Snow” the history of Henry Ford and the founding of The Ford Motor Company. Snow presents how Ford’s accomplishments turned the 20th Century into the what we see as the modern age of manufacturing. One particular example illustrates the evolution of an idea, Ford’s search for ways to improve the production of the automobile. At the time, the auto was a high-end product, customized by engineers that built each part right next to the assembly post for each auto piece-by-piece. The first idea Ford put into practice to increase efficiency was the fixed assembly line where each engineer specialized in a particular part and walked from car-to-car to place his part while the cars were stationary.
  • one day a Ford employee wandered into a Chicago slaughterhouse observing how pig carcasses were hung on a line that rotated from one stationary butcher to the next until the pigs were fully disassembled. He was discussing this with Mr. Ford when the Eureka moment happened.
  • Thus was born the first moving line for assembly – in this case for the automobile — a profound idea that changed manufacturing forever. A question for you to ponder, was Henry Ford, or his unnamed employee, or the owner of the pig processing plant the true innovator? We’ll talk about this further in a moment.
  • A more recent example is Reed Hastings's inspiration for Netflix. His idea sprang from combiningfour seemingly unconnected experiences sitting in his memory banks:First - The $40 fee charged by Blockbuster when he was late in returning Apollo 13.Second - The monthly membership dues from his local gym.Third - His experience with Amazon's Web-based ordering features.Fourth - A conversation Reed had had with a friend who told him about the DVD, a new technology from Japan that was far less bulky than the videocassettes at Blockbuster making it easy to mail to subscribers.Hastings founded the company in 1997 to take advantage of this assimilation of thoughts.
  • These examples illustrate that it's not “Spontaneous Creation” that produces ideas. These breakthroughs emerged from neither the ether nor traditional brainstorming. They evolved from the assimilation of past experiences and current knowledge.
  • As Henry Ford once said, "The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time." Ford understood that you have to know what you are looking to solve in order to find the ideas to solve it.
  • In fact, this theory has helped unlock the secret to building entirely new ways for companies, and during World War II the US as a whole, to bring greater innovation to solve problems. I see this as a three part process that can help innovators and teams continously generate solutions to their challenges.
  • The first is quite obvious, but one that many people overlook: We must have a specific challenge or problem in mind with no apparent solution;One that demands new ideas. This I hold up as the person’s or team’s Determination.
  • Ford and Hastings made seemingly random connections between things sitting in plain sight — that virtually anyone would have been able to see — but they were only able to piece them together because each were determined to solve a particular challenge.
  • With the problem in hand, we can begin our search for anyone, anywhere, anytime else that has solved a piece of the puzzle? The objective is to create the largest possible inventory of examples that are relevant to solving the challenge. We can do this subconsciously and wait on the Eureka, or we can be determined to gather information, build up our knowledge base, and expand our experiences by bringing in others.
  • Being determined means building a list; and the bigger and better the list, the more likely it is that it will contain the critical set of dots that can be connected to produce a breakthrough idea.
  • Steven Johnson has a really great blackboard illustration on this point. You can see it on YouTube…
  • In particular is the part where Steven talks about how thought owners of parts of ideas collide to make true breakthroughs. This can be exampled by Ford’s employee who observed the pig disassembly plant and Hasting friend that knew about the new DVD technology.
  • We find that it is essential to look outside our normal domain. Look at other industries and even the natural world ecosystem to determine how others survive and thrive when challenges are presented.
  • One thing is certain, we will not leapfrog current ways or develop disruptive ideas by looking at best practices inside our own industry. Nor will we find it by looking for simple analogs that take our challenge as an indivisible whole. Just think how these guys ended up removing this huge boulder from the highway.
  • This brings us to the third part of creating thesolution: We now need to engage in, what Ken Favaro and NadimYacteen of Booz and Company call, intelligent recombination or what I call the assimilation of an idea. This is process of breaking down the problem into simple issues that will allow us to trigger relevant and irrelevant thoughts from our experience and knowledge memories.
  • The Booz methodology starts by putting together a table of examples from our What Works Inventory to define a range of proven solutions for each piece of the puzzle that is our challenge. This becomes our “Insight Matrix”, where the first column lists components of the challenge that must be addressed, and the rows display a series of ideas, they call precedents, that apply to those components.
  • Now we are ready to use our creative minds to assimilate the relevant parts of the examples for determined idea generation.
  • As Steve Jobs once said, "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they’ll say they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while of thinking about it.“ I would say that Jobs was definitely determined in his creativity. He would see problems and quickly developed ideas.
  • In our context, this means we must let our minds be determined to solve the problem; we must let it do all the work to where we usually find our solution when we start working on something else. This is the normal evolution of assimilating precedents through our Insight Matrix to find breakthrough ideas — the determined "Eureka!" that solves the problem of our challenge.
  • When people are asked where they get their best ideas, they rarely say "at my desk," "in a meeting," or "in a brainstorming session." More common answers are while running, swimming, commuting, showering, cooking, sewing, doing yard work, or even sleeping. If you have a particular problem to solve, think about right before you go to bed and let your unconscious mind work on it for awhile.
  • Einstein asked himself, "Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?" He knew instinctively that when our brain relaxes, it's able to utilize its natural approach to generating ideas.
  • As capable innovators, wemust embrace and enhance our minds determination to generate groundbreaking ideas that successfully address the toughest challenges our company or industry most needs to solve.
  • The challenges themselves can be difficult to frame in the right way and break down into the right components. The process often involves messy, frustrating iterations of ideas, but using the IDEA process and embedding it into our unconscious, we can develop the presence of mind to continuously generate new breakthroughideas .
  • Thomas Edison's famous line that "invention is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration" is usually interpreted as meaning the hard part comes after the easy part. I believe what he was saying is that a lot of perspiration must go into generating the inspiration that produces a truly breakthrough ideas.
  • Remember, our blood is replaceable, our sweat is expected and we can cry if you want to…
  • But at the end of the day our ideas have to shape up and evolve their own strength,
  • so we can break down the barriers to our creativity and let our IDEAs shine! Just remember the acronym, ideas by determined evolution and assimilation!
  • I.D.E.A.s Evolve

    1. 1. This is a... Production ©2013
    2. 2. Spontaneous Creativity
    3. 3. Are There Any New Ideas
    4. 4. “To be honest, I never would have invented the wheel if not for Urg’s groundbreaking theoretical work with the circle.” Knowledge Building
    5. 5. Knowledge Building
    6. 6. I.D.E.A
    7. 7. Awesome
    8. 8. http://youtu.be/NugRZGDbPFU
    9. 9. ©2013 For further discussion on this subject go to www.Createyourself.com; Study Steven Johnson’s work on ideas www.stevenberlinjohnson.com; Repairing and Augmenting the Brain by TrendsMagazine.com; How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil; and Ken Favaro and Nadim Yacteen’s article "The Right Ideas in All the Wrong Places,“ www.Strategy-Business.com
    10. 10. This has been a... Production ©2013