Organizations, businesses, churches and individuals come up with new ideas all the time, yet many of these ideas never come to completion. Why? Are they simply bad ideas? Some of them, maybe. But the real problem lies within how the ideas are developed. The reality is: We are going about idea development all wrong.
In order to give an idea or plan optimal conditions for likely success, you need to get the idea out of your head and transform it into a sensory experience. This is where most of us go wrong in the idea development process. We want to go straight from thought to idea completion, not realizing that for our ideas to beat the odds, a creative sensory experience needs to take place. When we can see, hear, and feel something, it becomes real and believable, more than just a figment of imagination. This exponentially increases the likelihood of success.
- ) Write it. When you write out your ideas, it forces you to put your thoughts into words. This process will naturally bring structure to your plans and ideas, making them easier to pursue and develop and it helps to relay your vision to others so they can jump on board.
- ) Talk about it. Find people you trust, who you know will give you honest and valuable feedback and talk about your ideas. This will open up your mind to new possibilities. Ask them to hold you accountable for different stages in the process of your idea development. Inviting trustworthy people into parts of the creative process will remind you that your idea is not just a thought anymore, but an external thing that must involve action steps. Be careful here though. Some people get caught up in only talking about their ideas, but never do anything else about them. This is where the accountability part really helps.
- ) Record & listen to it. Recording yourself discussing your idea is an incredibly helpful tool. Explain the idea in your own words. Then by playing it back, you hear it from the outside, as if from a listener’s perspective. This will give you an outward view on what the idea looks like. Just like your voice sounds different to you than it does to other people, so do your ideas. You will automatically be biased when you are close to your idea. When you separate yourself temporarily from the idea, it begins to become transparent and you start to see it for what it truly is, with bias aside.
- ) Make it visual. Draw it. Paint it. Make a graph or a chart about it. This is potentially the best way to get ideas off the ground. When you can see it, you start to believe it. I love to use creative boards, where I put collections of thoughts, quotes, drawings, lists, flowcharts and more. Visual tools are priceless in the creative process.
- ) It begins to make the idea real by getting it past just a thought. It gives you leverage by moving you to action steps.
- ) It gives you a point of reference to work from. This will make it easy to measure results.
- ) It increases the likelihood of the idea becoming reality by moving it from intangibility, to a realistic sensory experience that your body can understand. It makes you believe in what you are doing and makes you more apt to complete what you have started.
IT’S YOUR TURN: Do you believe a sensory creative experience is important to the process of idea development? How do you incorporate the senses to make ideas come alive? Add to the conversation in comment section BELOW.
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