Maybe its old hat now. Common knowledge. Eureka moments don’t just happen. Newton didn’t get hit on the head by that apple and suddenly snap his fingers and shout “Gravity!” I’ve been hit on the head by falling objects, and I didn’t shout “Gravity!” If looks could kill that would have been one dead pigeon.
Newton was working on the idea for years. Years of research, thinking, pondering, muttering in his sleep, scratching notes, speaking to other scientists, listening to other ideas all came together at that moment.
Does instant creativity exist?
Fortuitously, instant creativity doesn’t exist. Why do I say fortuitously? Because even when you say that “I’ve just had this great idea” moment, a bit of investigation will show you why it’s not a great idea. More importantly it’s not your best great idea.
Genuinely great ideas are buried deep beneath the surface of your mind. They need to be nurtured, developed. Very often they nurture not over the computer, not over a lab microscope, but over a cup of coffee. And not a cup of coffee at home, but in a noisy company lounge, when you’re throwing ideas around with some company compatriots. And they’re not even in your same department.
Best ideas from different perspectives
The best creative ideas come from different perspectives. That’s why Silicon Valley is such a mother lode. It’s attracted some of the best minds – from everywhere. Different countries. Different cultures, Different styles of education. Different philosophical approaches to the sciences.
Different perspectives. Differences that make all the difference in how you see the problem you are seeking to solve, the creative thought you’ve bene playing with, from a new, fresh direction.
The creative idea that sticks is made up of a sum of many parts. Many drawn from your knowledge experience, research. Many drawn from the thoughts of others. All come together in a unique form never conceived before.
Tom Gilman keeps the creative energy flowing
In my recent interview with Tom Gilman, founder of Biosero, regarding rebuilding post Covid-19, he elaborated on how during lock-down he keeps the creative energy of his team flowing,
“To keep the energy flowing across the company and break down silos, we started the Biosero Olympics — a gamification concept to keep all the teams collaborating and ideating. Each department is one team — service, sales, apps and marketing — and they are all competing for a fun prize. Like a trip to Disneyland or an ice cream party (for those who don’t want to wait until Disneyland is open again!)”
That cross-pollination, different departments sharing their perspective, broadening each other’s perspective, forces each employee to look more rigorously at his established view. There’s a lot to learn about creativity in Tom’s interview.
Tom and his company also deserve special credit and thanks for offering free use of the Biosero software for 6 months, to anyone working to find treatments, vaccines, and treatments for Covid-19. Find his interview here.