First, an apology. I’ve had a touch of serious manflu this week hence the lack of frequency around the postings. Plus we’ve been shooting an awesome new spot that we can’t wait to share – it’s a belter. I was also lucky enough to take part in a debate with some great people at a the wonderful Berghs school of communiucation. More of that in another post. Rest assured – I will try to make up for the lack of quantity with quality.
One of the worst things about having flu is that you are bed ridden. But this can – of course – be a blessing in disguise if you want to soak up some new cool shit – catch up on RSS feeds, listen to audio books, thought leadership on podcasts etc etc So that’s what I did & came across the excellent Jack Foster & his book ‘How to Get Ideas’.
In it he talks a lot about different definitions of ideas. And that they are basically made by the recombination of new & old elements.
He then illustrates with lots of simple examples. Someone put fire & wood together to start cooking. Newton put the tides & the falling apple together to get gravity. It’s all very good stuff & in a world where we need to iteratively gather inputs/new elements/old elements to make ideas everyday I found this perspective really useful.
He also talks a lot about how some of the best ideas were actually uncovered by accident. Penicillan. Electrical currents. America. And continues to argue that by getting out of your rut & changing things is the only way of gathering new perspectives, new inputs. The secret is to then have them collide with old inputs (and other peoples perspectives) to make something new.
Building up your own database of mental flotsom & jetsom is probably the best way to stay interesting & bring the interestingness.
The best way to do this is to try something new that scares you everyday. Maybe a different walk to work. Maybe a new vegetable. Maybe it’s changing your entire wardrobe. Love change.
Right now I’m listening to post rock Japenese band MONO – while I have my lunch. It’s epic. And I have no idea where I might encouter use for this at some point in the future. I might not. But that’s not the point. The point is that I might be able to bring to a team conversation – however unlikely it may sound – & it might make a difference & that’s what makes it worth doing.
Sure as a remastered account handler you’ve got contact reports to write & status updates to give the client but this type of admin you get with any job. If you want to move from good to great then you’re about enabling the direction, germination & growth of an explosive idea.
These can only be made by having old & new experiences fizzing around in a tight space, meeting room, pub, car, plane to spark something. Spark some sort of association that hasn’t been made before. So keep on keeping on & collect that Mind Junk. It’ll make you more ‘idea prone’.
And you never know when it’ll bubble up from your subconscious & will come in handy.