Idea begins with I

Surprisingly so do so many of the words associated with generating and developing ideas, for example:

Imagination, inspiration, innovation and invention.
Insight, intuition, intelligence and inclination.
Immersion, inclusion, introspection and interpretation.
Inversion, intervention and intrusion
Infusion, immersion and implosion.
Illusion, impression and illustration.

There are more. It’s almost uncanny.

There’s an urban myth that being an ‘ideas person’ is a highly differentiated ability, confined to very few people.

Having been researching the amazing world of ideas for some time now for my new book THE VERY IDEA!, I am convinced it is untrue. We are all wired to come up with ideas, share ideas, and develop ideas. How else would we be able to navigate the complicated world away from work? How could we solve problems and spot opportunities? How could we think laterally and surprise family and friends? It is the facility that all of us have to produce and embrace ideas that makes us what we are.

So it’s no coincidence that idea starts with I. Or that all those words above that describe some idea-related activity or process also start with ‘I’. Every one of us is an ‘I’ – however hard sometimes it is to believe it, when our individuality seems to be marginalised by the pressures of the world of work. There may be no ‘I’ in team, as the cliché goes. But when it comes to thinking and being creative, to start with at least, it’s just me and my brain.

Having said all of this, two heads ARE better than one. Two people is the human world’s most effective and blissful coupling. Just imagine. Double that idea capacity. Double all those other ’I’ abilities. When have you ever shared an idea with a colleague, partner and friend, and not been stimulated and inspired to look at this aspect differently, to see more potential in that one?

But that doesn’t mean five or six heads are necessarily better than one. Frequently having more people in a meeting results in more egos, more hot air, less clarity and less progress.

If the meeting hasn’t delivered, go back to you and your brain, get the ideas flowing, use some of the ‘I’ words, and when you are ready, add a friend and his/her brain. You won’t go far wrong!

Image: Stockimo |