Ideas, indeed, rule the world. Every tangible outcome or result sprung out of an idea conceived by someone or group of people. So are the results that have turned our world around for the better.
Our fertility for ideas and our ability to generate more of good ones can be drastically improved so long as we commit to doing so.
Here’s Why You Should Constantly Come up With Lots of Ideas
Coming up with plenty of ideas at any given time improves your chance of happening on the ideas that will propel you and your business in the most desired direction. As entrepreneurs, dreaming is how we visualize and embrace the rosy possibilities of the future. Our dreams will be futile if we do not ideate them. Ideas therefore take us from our current state to the desired one.
Regular generation of good ideas is synonymous with improved creativity which translates into competitiveness in the marketplace.
It’s critical for our business to take off on a good footing and maintains sustainable growth when we are able to come up with good ideas regularly.
How to Generate Great Ideas Frequently and Consistently
Ideas are known to originate from various sources; the familiar and the not so familiar. Richard Branson of the Virgin group maintains a close companionship with a pen and paper to write down ideas as they erupt. You can’t always tell what encounter will be the source of an idea for the next big initiative. And the fact that you’re always on the lookout for more ideas draws them to you in their numbers.
One of the most uplifting benefits of reading for our career is how it exposes us to the ideas that revolutionized our industry and to how the industry leaders and pioneers came about them. Certainly, not every book is worth your time, but those authored or recommended by industry authority figures are worth the while. Biographies, authority and industry blogs, magazines, and books with expert perspective are effective sources for spawning great ideas.
It is common practice for some blogger or writer to scout all available sources for ideas in a certain area of business and showcase them in his blog or website for all to fetch from.
Ideas are required to solve our industry and society’s most pressing demands. Some of these demands and problems have been effectively tackled by someone and documented somewhere in a book. Tweaking the solutions applied by others to a problem similar to one you’re tackling, in the most suitable manner, is one way to draw great ideas.
Our imagination is an idea bank of some sort if put to effective use. I don’t have to be the first in my industry to come up with a certain solution. Using my imagination, I can creatively combine already performing solutions with a slight modification here and there to come up with one more fitting to an existing problem.
“Imagination” Albert Einstein said “is more important than knowledge.” “Knowledge” he continued “is limited.” While “Imagination encircles the world.”
In vivid corroboration of Einstein’s submission, Author and Journalist, Napoleon Hill said “first comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
You’ll find lots of ideas by always thinking of possible ways to improve existing solutions or new ways of tackling challenges.
People and Teams
People are assets by several measures. The toxic ones aside, a company of visionary people across all walks of life offers a vast supply of ideas to tap from. All you have to do is listen with your ears and heart. Every encounter is an opportunity to gain new ideas and learn fresh insights. Trying to take the center stage in a discussion with someone you met doesn’t make you any smarter than you already are. In fact, it makes you dumber and you come across to the person you’re trying so hard to impress with your scholarship as a pathological bore.
When you listen, you retain your knowledge and that of the person talking. Listen 80 percent of the time and talk the remaining 20. Your talking, whenever you do so, is not aimed to impress but for approbation and probing of the other person for further clarity. That way, you get the other person interested in you enough to open up and share his knowledge with you without restraint.
The goal of Richard Branson is to come up with ten ideas on a daily basis. This makes for a torrent of ideas, right? “Just write,” he says, thereafter, you can prioritize and rank the ideas for further brainstorming.
In the words of Earl Nightingale, “ideas are elusive, slippery things. Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away.”
A single player on the pitch makes no sense in the game of football and in so many other sports. What these sports share with business is that need for multidisciplinary and multifaceted individuals. People with diametrically opposite set of skills and abilities are required to play these sports. The same applies to business. No amount of talent is enough for a single individual to successfully carry out the diverse functions of business. A team is therefore a natural mandatory requirement.
Ideas generated in teams trump those of a solo player primarily because such ideas have been examined well enough from different angles to strip them off the biases and limitation that potentially beclouds an individual’s sense of judgment.
Team work increase your chances of generating great ideas and by extension succeeding in business by a wide margin.
- The Competition
Your competition provides a leg up in your bid to accumulate ideas. So long as you fine-tune your loot to suit your unique circumstances and tastes.
Observe the successful ideas in your market and do them differently. If you can, do them even better.
Several businesses have hit the mark in your industry, you can use them as a benchmark by comparing your practice with theirs to identify new ideas and areas for improvement.
The constant source of pain for you, a family member, an acquaintance or anyone else is a source of a potentially successful business idea. Take Nigerian Entrepreneur, Jason Njoku as a case in point. According to him, he got the idea of IrokoTV while in the Uk, on account of his inability to find a website where he could effortlessly download Nollywood movies for his mother.
People run into difficulties in their daily lives. Many choose to groan and mumble while the entrepreneur finds opportunities in those things that disconcert him and others. See problems for what they truly are; potential sources of ideas.
We all have our own special occasions, unique moments when our minds are most receptive to ideas. It’s one of the best steps you’ll take in your search for ideas to identify those unique moments. For German Composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the best ideas came to him abundantly at those times he’s unable to get a sleep, when he’s walking after a good meal or when travelling in a carriage.
Ideas can flow to you copiously in the comfort of your home, during a shower; while driving; watching a television program; or even while reading. Your job is to identify your idea zones and take optimal advantage of them.
The Art of Making Your Ideas Count
Ideas are like seeds and you constitute the soil where they take root and flourish. Ideas need to be tended and watered in even the most fertile person for them to blossom. Having discussed how we can improve our fertility for great ideas; our ability to generate more of them, that concern must now trade places with creating an enabling environment for our ideas to materialize.
All of the ideas you formulate will lie in waste if they’re not acted upon. Taking action consistently is one way to ensure our ideas count. That implies creating an automatic system that ensure we take the steps necessary to bringing our ideas to fruition.
Great ideas on their own are not the be-all and end-all of business success, other things matter, at times even more than ideas. Top of which is your willingness, ability, and agility to transform ideas into goals, goals into plans, and plans into actions that will produce tangible results. In other words, for your ideas to count, you must be great at execution as you’re at generating them.
Generate ideas not for the sake of it, but for the purpose of execution. This is the only way to muster the will to persistently come up with more ideas as you delight in the fruits of past ideas laying before your eyes.
Your success as an entrepreneur depends largely on the kind of ideas you create and your ability to see them through to a remarkable execution and closing.