Idea Generation

Recycling of Ideas

While some people might find it depressing to consider that there is no such thing as an original thought, I find it quite liberating to believe that everything we need to consider has already been created and our role is to recycle the ideas to serve our needs and the needs of the world as it exists today.

In the book, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, he asserts that, “Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” This approach allows us to let go of the stress of creating something new and, instead, look to those who have created before us and allow ourselves the freedom to study and learn as much as possible with the intent to bring all those ideas together in a different way that surprises and satisfies us.

Take the time to learn from those you admire, to explore what others have done and attempt to copy their work, not in direct imitation but in the spirit of the work. When we make the attempt to reproduce others – because we are humans, not machines – we will naturally create our very own unique piece of work. It will reflect our history, our views, and our collective learnings. In the spirit of recycling ideas, it is important to fill our head with as many ideas from as many sources as possible to be able to draw upon them as needed.

By recycling ideas we are creating new versions that others can then use as input into their learnings and their outcomes.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Choose three of your favorite authors, write down some learning from each one of them, and then look for ways to change your business to reflect these ideas within your business.


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