Sunday, August 14, 2011

Are you the "Idea Guy or Gal"?

 Are you an “idea person?” I am. You know, the person walking around the office using phrases like: “Have we ever…”, “What if we…”, or “I was thinking…”  Some people hate it when these people walk into the room, much less open their mouth to share one of their “ideas.”  Most of the time a new idea means spending more money or energy than what’s being distributed at the present moment.  It would be easy for the “idea guy” or “idea gal” to get discouraged.  But true “idea people” understand that for every twenty ideas, they might strike gold on one and they are OK with that.

I once read an article in Parade Magazine about Skeet Reese, a professional bass fisherman who won the Bassmaster Classic in 2009. Near the end of the article, I discovered a word picture of how I operate in the creative world.  Here is the sentence:

“Skeet never stops. Over nine hours, he casts some 3000 times, with little sign of wearing himself out.”

That’s it! Idea people are just like fishermen. We keep casting, casting and casting until we get a bite. Let me share some strategies we can employ to help us keep our chin up as we continue to circulate the countless ideas that flash across our minds.

1) Find a Pad: I have my Think Pad.  This is my most important tool. It’s a small moleskine pad that goes to EVERY meeting I attend.  That includes coffee at Starbucks, lunch and, of course, meetings.  The bottom line is you need some way to get your ideas out of your head and on “paper” (I put paper in quotes because there are plenty of tech-tools that you can use as well).

2) Find a Filter: A true “idea” person tends to not give much time to practical application of their ideas.  Like Skeet, we just keep casting.  We need a filter to run our ideas through as a litmus test for validity and practicality.  This needs to be someone who will be honest, yet tactful in his or her approach.

3) Find a Groove: It won’t take long for you to discover who listens and who doesn’t. You need to find out who will give you their ear for your ideas and add value there.  Don’t spend time trying to help those who aren’t interested in your perspective. It’s not a personal thing.  Not everyone will be willing to task the risk to implement someone else’s idea. Just bloom where you get the most water.

4) Find a Curtain: In others words, if we’re only pushing our ideas in order to promote ourselves, then our motives are wrong.  “Find a Curtain” means to find something to hide behind while someone else is in the spotlight. I believe any hint of self-promotion will only stifle our creativity.

Creativity is a great thing. It’s the ability to look at life from a different perspective. It’s using a God-given ability to make life a little better for someone else. We need not apologize for who we are. We should use it to fulfill our purpose and add value to the people around us.

Let me know...Agree or Disagree?

1 comment:

  1. This is great and a definite encouragement to me today. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the ideas I have and the realization that I can't possibly do something with them all. Your four strategies will be very helpful! Off to work now.......