Wednesday Wisdom: Ideas, Creativity, and Innovation

What is it about great ideas that stumps humans? Well, we all want to know life’s secrets. We want to know how people come up with the greatest ideas. Most commonly, the basic assumption is that, “an idea is a single thing”. Ideas come to us spontaneously, at an instant, while we’re walking down the street or having a cup of coffee in a café. These situations are often described as epiphanies, flashes, or lightbulb moments… How does this belief tie into how one forms creative, innovative ideas though?

Despite our basic assumptions, creativity, ideation, innovation, and topics of the like truly require collaboration in order to manifest the most amazing ideas possible. This is because our best ideas sneak up on us. They emerge through various thoughts, situations, and interactions that we have had which allow us to make previous connections in our minds: whether they are conscious or unconscious connections. In order to change this belief that revolutionary ideas come from single moments, we must change our environments to encourage collaboration with others. When people share and connect with each other they come up with better ideas that may connect with each others, possibly leading to new ideas while impacting another’s way of thinking.

Steven Johnson argues that an idea is a network, through detailing various stories in the TEDTalk, “Where good ideas come from.” To learn more about the various concepts surrounding how we create brilliant ideas, check out the TEDTalk here.

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