Making connections

There are very few really new ideas. Most of the time they are creative combinations of existing ideas:

♦ The idea of the wheel + the invention of steel + the invention of steam power = the railway.

♦ The letter + the wordprocessor + the modem = email.

♦ The radio + the cassette player + a set of headphones = the Sony Walkman.

♦ The idea of a very big bookshop + the internet = Amazon.com.

♦ Our tendency to leave everything to the last second + the idea of the one-stop shop + the internet = Lastminute.com.

♦ The idea of the university + new technologies = the virtual or corporate university.

♦ The old way of washing clothes with a mangle and a scrubbing board + modern technology with two tubs rotating in opposite directions = the latest Dyson washing machine.

As MIT's Nicholas Negroponte puts it:

New ideas come from differences. They come from having different perspectives and juxtaposing different theories.

American poet Robert Frost has it even more succinctly: "An idea is a feat of association."

Will Hutton, chief executive of the Industrial Society, expands on this further:

I have the kind of mind which makes connections. Nothing is original. I am self-confident in making unusual links. You need to dare to make a connection and be prepared for hostile reactions as you take people into new territory.

To make it more likely that people will make connections and therefore have good ideas that will be commercially and socially beneficial, there are three simple ways of encouraging this art of making connections in the workplace: using dialog, moving outside your field on a regular basis, and learning to think in terms of connections.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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