Autonomous Linchpins Motivated to find Creativity in Liquid Networks

Tue, Oct 26, 2010

Blogs, Fearless Creativity, Video

Autonomous Linchpins Motivated to find Creativity in Liquid Networks

My life is a trial of slow hunch and error; semi-baked ideas patiently awaiting resolution. Epiphanies are ideas that move suddenly from semi to mostly baked after a slow burn. They benefit from 10,000 hours of practice, knowledge and tipping points but ultimately rely on staying connected to adjacent possibilities to facilitate the serendipity of adaptive re-purposing.

A superb titles by different authors:

Drive – Dan Pink
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Linchpin – Seth Godin
Where Good Ideas Come From – Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson has been making blog appearances through his RSA Animate and TED videos, but his latest book is the unabridged version of his five year research into the formation of good ideas. He breaks it down into seven chapters: The Adjacent Possible, Liquid Networks, The Slow Hunch, Serendipity, Error, Exaptation, and Platforms. Each chapter of Johnson’s book fits comfortably with experience yet offers a significantly alternate angle.

Ideas don’t happen in isolation. One thing leads to the next as we stand on the shoulders of giants. There needed to be a carbon atom before discovering oil, just as there needed to be Kranz before Prince. Clearly some adjacent ideas are more enduring while others are more harmful to a genre but we don’t move forward without error.

On my “to do” list:

Find ways to creatively mingle.

Bump elbows with dissimilar yet like minded creatives; “like minded” meaning open and curious, dissimilar meaning not always agreeable. A denser mix gives rise to more sparks that facilitate idea baking. Will the creative genius be demoted to the merely talented by virtue of our new “Third Place”; the internet? The breakthrough coming from out of nowhere will henceforth be traceable to many adjacent connections.

On my “to do” list:

Find a collaborative space to work.

Good ideas are new connections made from previous knowledge.  The key is knowledge; anything else relies on ignorant chance, which is good but highly unreliable. Knowledge of a genre takes time to explore.  It’s harder to find the adjacent possible without knowing the adjacent exists.

On my “to do” list:

Keep learning but take care not to build a house of mirrors; diversify.

Serendipity is practiced luck; luck that you can rely upon. Stuff happens randomly when at rest; serendipity is to creativity what entropy is to thermodynamics. Serendipity is the uncaptured idea, like energy unavailable for work until acted upon by a force.

On my “to do” list:

Stay open. Let accidents happen. Embrace Serendipity.

Ideas need to be exposed to failure. It’s as though we have to get through the crap to find the gold. Poor information, inappropriate preparation, ill-fated execution all lead to greatness.  Einstein was an idiot until he wasn’t.

On my “to do” list:

Give myself permission to suck.

There is a scrap heap of ideas waiting to be adaptively repurposed; a.k.a. exaptation or in past tense: exaptated.  One-liners become a book if we collect enough of them to piece together in a meaningful way.  Was the appendix really a vestigial organ or one waiting for exaptation in the evolution of man?  A great idea is a great idea but maybe not for the solution you’re attempting to find.

On my “to do” list:

Start keeping an idea book; one that isn’t a computer.

[more via TED website] 

Why you should listen to him:

A dynamic writer and speaker, Johnson crafts captivating theories that draw on a dizzying array of disciplines, without ever leaving his audience behind. Author Kurt Anderson described Johnson’s book Emergence as “thoughtful and lucid and charming and staggeringly smart.” The same could be said for Johnson himself. His big-brained, multi-disciplinary theories make him one of his generation’s more intriguing thinkers. His books take the reader on a journey — following the twists and turns his own mind makes as he connects seemingly disparate ideas: ants and cities, interface design and Victorian novels.

Creativity, Innovation, Motivation, Video

One Response to “Autonomous Linchpins Motivated to find Creativity in Liquid Networks”

  1. Scott Webb Says:

    I got this book on Boxing day and I’m reading it now. I need to read more of Steven Johnson because one of my favorite books was Emergence back in University.

    Reading Where Good Ideas Come From has reminded me of how fast I read his work. I can easily connect with his insight.

    Since I started reading, I’ve been able to look at everything from the perspective of the adjacent possible. It’s absolutely amazing. I felt weird using it in sentences during writing or speaking.

    Your article is so well written and intertwines so much of the words and connections within WGICF and Emergence. Awesome!


Tweeter button Facebook button Digg button
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