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  • "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." Mark Twain

    "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." Oscar Wilde.

    "A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant superficial, and uninformed." Nelson Mandela

    Below are some good "idea" forming insights from a small book called “A Technique for Getting Ideas” by James Wood Young. This book is available as a free download on the web.

    How do creative people shape their ideas? While studying various creative designers and artists, the author, James Wood Young, drew up an outline of the five steps that most creative people go through in the design process.

    1. Gather the raw materials. Get the facts and compare old and new. What kind of new materials enrich your store of general knowledge. What facts do you need that may help shape your idea.

    2. Work these materials over in your mind. Take each element you’ve gathered and see how it fits together as a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes you might see something only if you look at it obliquely. Write that insight down and keep it for reference. Gather all these little insights until you have exhausted the process. If you get a second wind go for it. Only after you have several of what you consider to be legitimate ideas do you stop. Sometimes waiting a bit will shed new light of something you may have oversimplified or underestimated.

    3. Incubate. Let your subconscious percolate for a while. Think about other things. Let something beside the conscious mind do the work of synthesis. It’s digesting without you trying to shape or overwork it. Do things that stimulate your mind like listening to music. Go to the theater or movies, read poetry or just recharge.

    4. Birth of the Idea. The “AH HAA!, Eureka! I have it!” stage. It’s all coming together now. Formulating the final plan of action.

    5. The final shaping and development of the idea to practical usefulness and application.

    Between step three and five, there’s a leap of faith that something will jell. That this idea will catch fire, will be viable and ultimately yield the result you hoped for. If it fails, you can always go back to the drawing board. Exhausting all possibilities, taking all elements into consideration and finally gaining insights into a transformation of an idea is a long process, but it is a road we all share in. Some of the best ideas seem to come from the blending of simultaneous research and development between separate individuals.

    Ideas can mesh and match in a kaleidoscope of patterns and prisms that reveal all different kinds of possibilities. Imagination is crucial in taking elements, understanding them and transforming them into a good idea, worthy of execution.
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