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Are you an IDEA FLIRT?
- Navneet Bhushan, Crafitti Consulting

Ideas are those thoughts that bring-in the genesis of change – many times fundamental. Obviously, every thought is not an Idea. However, ideas are thoughts that one doesn't get in regular run-ofthe-mill thinking. The key problem is that ideas come to prepared minds. In fact, many ideas just fly-away before we can capture, hold-on, express and develop them. 


The problem of ideas


Ideas are Free and Ideas are Cheap – We hear from many management Gurus as well as proclaimed Gurus! ~ No way! Human mind has an upper limit of keeping 7 plus or minus 2 different thoughts at the same instance - psychologists have told us. One evidence came in 1956 from the efforts of Miller (please see a link to his paper http://www.musanim.com/miller1956/). VIBGYOR – the 7 colors and 7 fundamental musical notes in the octave should give us a view of this limit of human mind.


Let's assume every second 9 thoughts in our mind change completely. In a complete day our mind passes through 24 x 3600 x 9 =777600 thoughts (maximum) (assuming even when we are sleeping we still carry 9 thoughts per second - whatever those thoughts may be!). If we can catch one of these threefourth of a million thoughts that we get per day and develop it - every day - we can actually develop one idea per day!

There is one problem, though. They come to prepared minds. Only prepared minds can transform these thoughts into change. It requires an ability to generate and execute at the same time. We need to prepare our mind to catch the thought which may be the genesis of change - that is the thought that actually is an idea.
Evolution, however, has not helped us to be so well-prepared to catch ideas in our minds. In fact, human mind works best by avoiding the work of conscious thinking and observation. It respond to stimuli through a pattern matching mechanism that has stood the test of time. Fifty thousand years back, if our great great grandfathers were facing a tiger, the likely action would have been to run as fast as possible away from the tiger, rather than to brainstorm in a team meeting. In fact, the more successful we are with our past thinking to solve a problem, more ingrained it becomes in our minds. The success becomes what is called a psychological inertia of core
IDEAS need to be crafted through orchestrated immersion. Contrary to popular belief of organization having lots of ideas and it is all about execution, our experiences show ideas need to be crafted through orchestrated immersion of minds that work inside and with the enterprises.
In 1997 Stevens and Burley carried out a study of successful market products that showed 3000 raw ideas on an average resulted in one market success.
I have been asking this question in my workshops "How many raw ideas are needed to create one market success today?"
Some participants have mentioned just one idea is enough for market success. However, majority of delegates believe we need to generate more than 3000 raw ideas to create one successful market product/service in today's world.
Hence, my inference, ideas are not easy. If a thought that has been expressed is actually an IDEA, please do not consider it CHEAP or available dime a dozen. If it is an IDEA it cannot be CHEAP. The key is to recognize which of the thoughts actually is an IDEA.
Becoming an Idea Flirt
I suggest one needs to become an Idea Flirt as quickly as one can. An Idea Flirt is one who engages with ideas for some time - and then with next ideas. And more importantly flirt with as many ideas as one can at same time. In the process of flirting with many ideas - some ideas will develop into longer relationships - may be a long term relationship.
With some idea you may get into a marriage. The trick for being a successful Idea Flirt - is to keep on flirting with new ideas, even if you are in many long term relationships and even married to some of them.
This requires a continuous exploration of the field to search and being open to have tea/coffees and even one night stands with some of the ideas, while you continue to be in stable marriages and long term relationships with many of the stable ideas.
One important point is to know - how and when to get out of a relationship and even get out of the marriage with ideas. This will require leaving the ideas you are married to for time alone, and move on to “newer” and may be “younger” ideas. The key lesson however is never to divorce your ideas - even if your relationship with them is dead!