Good ideas don’t often fall out of the sky. They tend to have a foundation in the immediate, but extend their reach into wider possibility. Ideas are how we explore the unknown and seek to create order out of the chaos. They are how we transform what we have now into a vision of what could be.
Learning is a creative industry, creative in terms of what we do and how we think. Good learning should be inspirational, and the methods that we use to train should sometimes be innovative, but where do the ideas come from?
The heart of new ideas, be they for a new business, for a new way of working, for a new way of thinking, tend to lie in our own experience. We experience the world, see how it works, see how things are done, start to question those things, then come up with new ideas for ways of working, ways of learning, ways of living.
Why are we interested in where ideas come from? Maybe because learning is about exploration: sometimes we are exploring new skills or new knowledge, but sometimes it’s worth exploring within ourselves, to look at how we think and act, to understand how we are inspired, how we feel the need to change and to improve, and where the good ideas come from. This introspective activity might not make us more successful or happy, but it might give us a greater insight into how we change and grow.
Ideas often come out of learning. I would be delighted if someone went through one of our training courses and left it with new ideas. Hopefully they will have agreed with some of the things we’ve said, disagreed with others, thought about how they can implement some of those ideas and maybe come up with some new ones of their own. The process of learning is iterative: we learn, we formulate hypothesis, test against them and adapt, but the whole process is driven by ideas, ideas of what could be changed, what could be different.
Working with inspirational people can, in itself, kick off new and fresh ideas, some of which will be good, others bad, but we should actively seek to put ourselves into situations where we have these thought, expose ourselves to the possibility of inspiration, open ourselves up to change and be unafraid to share and collaborate. We can influence and change our surroundings, if we want to have good ideas, we need to expose ourselves to influences, we need to be ready to think differently.
It’s just an idea, but worth thinking about.