Here’s the secret

I am just finishing off a new book by Adam Grant called Originals.

It’s a great book.

As Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, writes in the forward it:

“Is one of the most important and captivating books i have read, full of surprising and powerful ideas.”

One of Adams most important research insights that resonated with me was the relationship between the quantity and quality of ideas.

It seems that if you want to generate more original ideas then the secret is to create lots of them.

As psychology professor, Dean Simonton notes:

‘The odds of producing an influential or successful idea are a positive function of the total number of ideas generated.’

Mozart for example completed more than 600 pieces before his premature death; Picasso generated more than 1800 paintings.

Not all of these were masterpieces.

But this is the point.

Original thinkers produce a lot if ideas that can lead no where or somewhere interesting.

The point is that they are continually exploring.

Everyone else tends to generate a few ideas and then spend the rest of their time polishing these.

I have found the same thing with my Speed Thinking process or Ideas Blitz tool.

This accelerated thinking approach asks people to generate 9 ideas in 2 minutes to kick off the process.

I have found that the first few ideas are the more conventional ones but towards the 7th, 8th or 9th the truly original ideas start to surface.

The key lesson?

If you are working by yourself or in a group do not settle for the first few ideas.

Push yourself always to generate just one more.

And even when you have a great idea – try and make it 9 times better!

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