Ideas, “fuel of the knowledge economy”

You’ve undoubtedly thought about the importance of developing a great idea (and of executing on that idea, of course). But how does one get great ideas?

This article on LinkedIn describes some ways, including “regularity” (make time, or down time, for creativity), “hard work” (duh) and “mashup” (connecting what’s not obvious).

On the last point, some people refer this to “combinatorial thinking.” The wonderful site Brain Pickings has described it in various ways – as “bisociation” and “incubation,” which requires a period of unfocused effort or play (sometimes referred to as “flow”), and as “connecting the unconnected.”

Does your schedule give you the time needed to develop ideas?

Those ideas might just be a novel way of executing on an existing product or service. Or they could be for an entirely new product.  At the Governors School of Entrepreneurs (GSE) last week, one of the competing student teams explained how it had “pivoted” from one product to another over three weeks. By the time it had arrived to do its pitch, the team’s product was completely unrelated to the original idea.

A willingness to change, to be wedded to an organization or purpose –  not to any idea that might represent them – is also essential to finding great ideas, as Social Coaster CEO Jonathan Burdon explains in the video above. Give it a watch.

How important is a willingness to let go? The team mentioned above who was able to pivot no less than three times in the course of the week of GSE presented a compelling (and in hindsight, obvious) product that attracted the attention of the entrepreneurs at the judges panel as well as the Kentucky Innovation Network, which was in attendance.

Because it believes in the power of great ideas, the Kentucky Innovation Network is also a major sponsor of the IdeaFestival, which will happen from Sept. 30 – Oct. 3.

Fuel up.