Ever wonder if we just try too hard?
The forcing of ideas and innovation is a 21st century obsession. We organise far too many events and gatherings to be useful, we build prescriptive spaces that do nothing but stimulate the opposite response, we demand unique solutions in our sourcing activities and scorn those who respond only with a commitment to effectively do what is asked – and because one might be led to believe there is something inherently wrong with absolutely everything, we preach incessantly about the need for new ideas. Red in the face and with an aching diaphragm, the results of this pressure upon ourselves and others is diminutive and unsatisfying. It never feels right.
In this unparalleled impatience, we have lost the art of allowing our thoughts and deliberations to ferment until ready. Breakthroughs are not made to order, new ground is not won through a scheduled and facilitated thought shower. Instead, they are nurtured in surroundings that work uniquely for us. Sometimes these environments are damp (the shower), cold (a long walk), sweaty (the gym), in sporadic and jerky motion (the bus), or are entirely new and surprising. They are often lonely, allowing the processing the outcomes of our interactions rather than at the time of the partaking – some of the words most powerful are those that re-appear in re-ordered illumination in a later moment. While our conversation and interaction are incredible ad necessary stimulants, we need to have the patience to know that they may end at just that for the time being.
In demanding innovation, we have perfected the art of spawning weak ideas, diluted by the demands we place on ourselves which are in turn exacerbated by the sum of these collective pressures. Beneficially, we might all cease at once, and stop trying to the turn the whole damn world into the curse of the age, a “think tank”.
We might lighten our spirits by putting away the flipcharts, post its and markers, and drifting into the evening subconsciously mulling it all over instead. We need to give our ideas time to form, to breathe, to strengthen, to let us know when they are ready – and to do this at our own pace, in our own way.
Thought is a natural activity. It arrives when its ready.