Coming up with lots of ideas very quickly offers many benefits.
Speed gives you momentum of thought, which silences the judge, circumvents fear, and makes failure less painful. "Get that root canal over with quickly, please."
But mostly, speed gets you to the large number of ideas quicker. Let's slow down and look at those many benefits of thinking quickly.
The Silence of the Judge
Judging is one of the worst things you can do when ideating.
Here's what happens. You come up with an idea and judge it. If it's a bad idea, how does that make you feel? "Oh, no. I'm a bum. I'll never
Small and nimble versus
This commercial for EDS, "The running of the squirrels," created by Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, parodies the annual "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. The spot is a classic use of 180° Thinking, showing the dangers of the small, nimble competitor as being perhaps more threatening to business today than the large, more lumbering competition. (For more on 180° Thinking see Chapter 8.)
With negative judgment you lose. With positive judgment you lose.
come up with a great idea." That's a good state of mind for developing brilliant ideas? I don't think so.
Or let's say you judge your idea to be good. Then what? What do you think most people do when they find a good idea? That's right. They stop looking. They're happy, so they stop. "I have a good idea. I have a solution to my problem. Thank you. I'll get on to the next crisis that needs my genius."
Sorry, friends, but that attitude is the attitude of the great gray masses. Not the attitude of the big winners. In an age when it takes major advancements to get an edge and huge ideas to create impact, what good are merely good ideas? As Voltaire said, "Good is the enemy of great."
Again, the reason most people don't come up with great ideas is because they come up with good ideas, then they stop. Is there a better idea? You'll never know if you stop.
So you see, judgment during the early phases of creative thinking screws things up either way. My suggestion? Use 100 MPH Thinking to come up with many ideas —10 ideas, 50 ideas, 100 ideas. Why not? Heck, if you normally come up with two or three ways to solve a problem, 10 is 300 to 500 percent greater. And 50 is something like 1,800 to 2,500 percent better. And 100 ideas? Well that's whole magnitudes better than two or three ideas!
I get twenty ideas for songs to get one finished. I get twenty songs finished to get one worth singing to someone else. I get twenty worth singing by me to get one which somebody else finds worth singing.
When you come up with your 10, 50, or 100 ideas, then you judge them. Who cares how many are less than perfect, or downright horrible for that matter. Are two pretty good? Maybe five? Perhaps eight? What's wrong with that? Pete Seeger
If you're going to tell me, "Yeah, but that means the majority are lousy," then I'm sorry, pal, but you're seeing the idea font half empty. Who cares how many are bad! Some are pretty damn good, maybe even great. That's all you should care about.
The best baseball players, guys with batting averages of .300, still fail 7 out of 10 times.
The best scientists fail more than the average scientists. The best films have miles of outtakes on the editing room floor. Get over this desire for perfection. It can't be achieved.
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