Always Have Another Idea In The Wings
To stay ahead, always have your next idea waiting in the wings, leadership expert Rosabeth Moss Kanter tells us.
It is advice worth taking to heart.
Moss Kanter, who is director of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, certainly always has a new idea waiting, judging from the wide-ranging and fascinating series of books she has authored over the years on business issues and change management.
Like me, you may have first become aware of her work with her successful book Confidence: How winning and losing streaks begin and end and just stayed with her through each new idea she wrote about.
I take inspiration from her, though my knowledge of her is only from reading her literature.
Ideas are an integral part of my business and leadership toolkit and I am always conscious when things are going well that I must be ready with the next idea to get started before the current one wanes.
Ideas shape our world and to a large extent our lives.
As my own business grows and changes and evolves, people often ask me where I get my ideas, and that is always a little difficult to explain.
In some ways, ideas appear to come from outside of me, like mental butterflies that flutter by and light momentarily to see if I can catch them, and then dart away into the future.
Other times, they appear to bubble up like a froth inside of me, stirring and trembling to the top of a pot of impressions I have taken in from books, from videos, from the world around me or from stimulating conversations.
The truth is, I suspect, ideas are a blend of what is outside and inside of all of us. They form when our images of what we see and what we know blend and new patterns are created. We process ideas by mixing them with curiousity and attention and effort, and the next thing they emerge as creatures of their own.
If you want to generate more ideas, be mindful of them when they flicker across your mind. Once you start to look for them, you will find they are everywhere.
Capture these ideas with a journal, a phone app, or any method that works for you. The more ideas you write down and consider, the more ideas you will have. Paying attention to them breeds more and more.
I keep an idea journal. Every day I try to capture two new ideas for the growth of my business, one for the nourishment and enjoyment of my family, and one for the care and maintenance of myself.
I can wake up in the night with an idea that needs to be captured in the brief second of its glory and I write hastily in the journal and then fall back asleep.
When I find myself or my business facing a challenging time, I go back to my journals and consider if the time has come for some of the ideas I have already considered. The process of reading them, sorting through them, and considering them prompts even more ideas.
Suddenly, the perfect one emerges to address the circumstances at hand.
To keep your idea well full and well primed, remember to continue to fill it up regularly by reading great books, blogs, and articles by people you respect and who have a well-deserved reputation for creative thinking.
Look to the pundits of our age, but look backwards as well to see how insight from the past might find a fresh application now or in the future.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released in March 2018 “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”. For speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.