Ideas are not self-contained, discrete objects. Rather, they emerge as connections between different thoughts and concepts.
Walter Benjamin wrote that "ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars." That is, ideas emerge out of seemingly random proximity between one thought or another until we begin to perceive a pattern.
Brain science has found something similar. As Steven Johnson reports, ideas are instantiated when disparate neurons in our brains begin firing together in novel ways, adapting and reconfiguring themselves as new adjacent possibilities reveal themselves.
- Integrate innovation functions with the broader organization
- Knowledge work means transforming old ideas into new ones
- Articulate knowledge as atomic insights
- Take notes with connection in mind