posted on Apr, 26 2013 @ 06:36 PM
one of my friends has asked me to try to quantify innovative thought,
i spend days and weeks trying to explain to my self where innovation comes from,
where ideas that change the world stem from,
this is the conclusion i have come to, and i have decided to share my thoughts and processes with my ATS friends in the hopes that others can add to
the thread so that everyone can add how and why they innovate to give insights to people who feel like they want to contribute, but dont know the
steps in invention.
in some cases a person is a savant, in that they can do things that the larger population cannot, these people are exceedingly rare, and sometimes
their abilities astound us and challenge our notion of what intelligence actually is.
there are many types of savant, and not all are maths prodigies.
in some cases a person is a verifiable genius, and they can use their intellect to understand a subject on a whole new level. this insight gives them
the ability to not only design new innovations but also describe the underlying nature of how something functions and expalin the reason "why"
in some cases a person can be a specialist in a particular field of science, and their knowledge of a specialist subject gives them insight to that
feild that the average person does not have access to. usually years and years of study are required to get to the point where a system or field is so
second nature, that direct insights can be found that allow innovation
this is usually (not always) some one who tries to advance science using the scientific method and research previously published by other scientists
and may combine many different areas of science into one experiment of product or service.
i am hoping if you read this you are interested in being innovative, and i would like to explain my methods to be innovative. i am no expert and this
is no magic bullet, i just wanted to let people see how i innovate so that they can try the methods and who knows it may help some one become an
innovator or inventor.
first i am biased to how i think the mind works, i accept that and am telling you up front now.
i believe that people are picture processors, to me this means that if you want to understand something complex,
without you even trying to your mind will generate "pictures" or "models" in your mind. in most cases people have the latent ability to construct
"models" as well but i want to start simple and progress to the advanced stuff.
my first step is always to construct a picture in my mind of the subject or field i am analysing.
so lets start with an apple,
try to hold an image of an apple in your mind.
the next step is to give the apple some depth and colour and a texture.
try to make the image of the apple a 3D image, give it a colour and a texture.
the next step is to be able to either,
rotate your 3D apple in your mind
or rotate around your 3D apple
once you can hold and manipulate your 3D apple in your mind for an extended period,
you need to be able to clear the apple from your mind and bring it back latter when asked.
the same apple with the same colour and texture.
why you ask should i bother with making mental 3D models in my mind?
well when you can "model" something in your mind, you are exercising a part of your mind that we dont usually use on a regular basis. (some people
do with their jobs already)
so this is an exercise to awaken the part of your brain that can both generate and analyse objects you build yourself in your mind.
when i try to innovate the very first thing i do is to make a mental model of the object or system i am investigating.
where i am "animating" the object or system so that it functions in my mental model as it would in any real world scenario. i find watching flow
videos or function video helps with this part of the process.
even moving pictures can help with building the mental model.
when you can hold the model and move it (or yourself around it) and can animate the model to show your self differnt views of the model, you are now
ready to add variables.
bring the apple to mind, hold it there, now add a knife to your model,
you should be able to describe the type colour and length of the knife in proportion to the apple.
now use the knife to cut the apple in half.
if your doing it right, you will have already made the model show the contents of the apple centre,
without you having to think about about what the core looks like.
you already know what an apple core looks like, and added it to the model without being told to.
this is the basis i use to mentally model things,
over time you can bring the apple back to mind in an instant, and you can manipulate the apple and cut it into many many slices without breaking a
if you want to push yourself, try with 10 apples and knives and try to have them cut each apple in half one after another.
ok so some of you will be saying ouch at this point, and you head will start to complain.
it takes practice and many attempts.
so how does this help with innovation?
it is my belief that when we stimulate this part of our brains, we are exercising the part of the brain that allows for innovation. when we can cut
the apple in a number of different ways in our minds, we may stumble on a new way to cut apples without having to waste a bag full of apples.
this is only how i try to innovate but i learned it from reading about tesla as a child,
i read that he drew 3 or 4 diagrams from mind and sent them to different component manufactures,
when he received the parts they fit together perfectly.
he used a mental model to design the parts, test them together and to produce diagrams for the makers to build.
and they fit together perfectly.
when i try to understand some thing it is always in a picture or model format,
i usually come up with my best ideas using this method,
would anyone else like to give an insight to their creativity?
it just might inspire others to become innovators