|Michael Angier is the founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of
SuccessNet based in
South Burlington, Vermont USA. He’s a father, husband, writer, speaker,
entrepreneur, coach and student. He's also the creator of The World Class
the turn of the last century there was serious discussion about
disbanding the US Patent Office because many believed there were few
inventions left to be patented. The common wisdom was that all the
great inventions had already been taken. No doubt there are people
today who feel the same way.
I disagree. I believe the world is
entering a time of unprecedented innovation. We’re experiencing
some of the greatest prosperity we’ve ever known. Productivity is
at an all-time high. And when basic needs are met, it’s easier to
Innovation is not only for so-called
“creative” minds. We’re all creative, and each of us has the
ability to generate ideas to solve problems in our businesses and
improve our relationships.
Innovation is nothing more than
taking information and reorganizing it in new ways.
It’s important to take some of our
increased productivity and use some of the time saved to think and
create. Ask questions. Dig deep. Think about what you want and what
others might want. What problems need to be solved and how can we
solve them? Remember that it’s okay to borrow ideas as long as you
don’t borrow them all from one place.
Arnold Glasgow said, “Ideas not
coupled with action never become bigger than the brain cells they
Ideas are cheap. It’s
implementation that creates the real value. Ideas by themselves are
worthless. Plans are nothing . . . unless they are followed with
action. An idea without a strategy, without action, is useless.
That said, it’s still paramount we
keep track of the ideas we have. Write them down. Record them in
some fashion. And make them easy to access later. You never know
when an idea may trigger another one that could be just the one to
make you a million dollars—or save a million. An idea you have
today may be impractical. Or perhaps you may be unable to do
anything about it at the moment. No matter. Make sure you record it
somewhere. If you make it easy to do, you’ll do more of it.
I use my Task List in Microsoft
Outlook to keep track of ideas. I can categorize them and they’re
easy to find. Index cards also work well. They fit handily in a
shirt pocket or purse and are easy to sort and categorize. You can
even use your journal or a separate document on your word processor.
The easier it is to find and review them, the more valuable your
ideas will be to you.