The Birth of an Idea

Exploding Light Bulb

An idea can be a powerful thing. Like a seed, it can implant and grow over time, digging deep into its hosts’ psyche and if we’re lucky, growing as fast as the pesky red-tip photinia in my front yard. An idea has the power to change minds, to change history even, and is perfectly capable of sparking innovation under the right circumstances.

The recent revitalization of the ReThink initiative aims to do just that – spark innovation – yet it also got me wondering what goes into an idea. What are the mechanics, the inner workings, of an idea? What are the forces that trigger that proverbial lightbulb moment that often eludes us?

In a series of blog posts, I’ll follow our retail group over the next few months as they come up with, and hopefully implement an idea that echoes our results beyond architecture mantra. Much like a scoop reporter, I’ll provide some insight into their process while periodically adding my two cents and comments, hopefully not edging too much into op-ed territory.

Retro typewriter writers desk

Prior to the kick off, I thought it best to manage expectations a bit. Not in an obstructive, pessimistic way, but more as a means to placate premature excitement; I mean isn’t this potentially groundbreaking, show-stopping stuff?! You know, birthing an idea – although when put that way it sounds more like a medical phenomena than anything else. I guess I’m just saying, when dealing with something as elusive and intangible as an idea, anticippointment (Anticipation. Disappointment.) is a real thing.

Dropped ice cream

As an aside, I recently read that the High Line in New York City started way back in 1999, and was still constructed despite calls for demolition, a lawsuit, change in city leadership and rezoning plans. Hopefully this process will not take nearly that long, and even if it does, it’s about the journey, not the destination, right?

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