Million dollar ideas

Warren Buffet probably has one big idea a month that is worth millions of dollars. The rest of the time, his schedule is probably not too different from mine or yours.

Our economies have moved from being based on industries and manufacturing to being based on knowledge and insight. We have gone from manning assembly lines to becoming ‘knowledge workers’. Our work profiles are going from doing tasks that are mechanical and repetitive to fuzzy ones that demand more creative. You can pay an assembly line worker based on the number of widget assembled. You cannot pay a software developer based on the number of lines of code written.

And yet, our professional training and our personal lives aren’t organized to help us get the best ideas or insights. Our educational system is still moored on the requirements of a factory – it lays a higher emphasis on unquestioned obedience than on insightful thinking or problem solving. We have filled our leisure hours with periods of mental activity – with entertainment, stimulation and most importantly a constant stream of information. Insights require empty space – periods of non-activity and boredom – which we seem to have all but eradicated.

Even as the world needs and rewards more million dollar ideas, we haven’t nurtured the perfect conditions to enabling them. Can you advantage from this deficit?

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