Executive Thought – Developing Lego-Thinking

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love playing with Lego blocks when I was younger simply because of my fascination of being able to do things with blocks and apply a great deal of creativity to how I want my spaceship or fighter jet to look like.

It is in that light that we approach our innovation. The blocks are gathered from different pieces, consisting of different shapes and sizes, to make out your eventual object. Likewise, successful innovators are idea-gatherers. They network with people and their minds are constantly collecting thoughts and picking people’s minds. Thomas Edison was thought to have amassed 3500 notebooks worth of ideas.

One of the best and easiest ways to spark out creativity and churn innovative ideas is by amassing ideas. There are two advantages in collecting ideas:

One, you will grow to learn how to filter out those that are potentials from those that are mediocre. Idea filtration is a learnt discipline as part of developing Lego-thinking that can only be forged through practice.

Two, idea amassment exponentially increases innovative streaks. By virtue of our ability to recombine ideas, the more we collect, the greater the permutations available. The probability of you gaining your next best associative idea is only as high as the number of ideas that you collect over time.

Renowned design firm IDEO seeks to hire people who demonstrate breadth in knowledge across fields and depth in a single field. This allows for it to tap upon employees who are able to draw from and cross-fertilise ideas from other fields in application to their own field of expertise.

I recently suggested an idea that is currently being implemented in terms of monetizing old content by changing the way the company carves out content for sale as packages. By simply altering the way the content is packaged, the company would accrue a potential of at least ten million dollars! It came about when I asked myself two simple questions “how can we repackage all of this content and squeeze more value out of existing customers?” and “What do our customers really need from us as content providers?”

These two questions led me to alter the way we packaged our content, and the journey of deriving more profits out of this is exciting. It is never too late to start. Start by collecting ideas in a notebook each time you come across one. Start today.



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