If innovators have one thing in common, it is that they love to collect ideas, like kids love to collect Legos. Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling advised that “the best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas.” Thomas Edison kept over thirty-five hundred notebooks of ideas during the course of his lifetime and set regular “idea quotas” to keep the tap open. Billionaire Richard Branson is an equally passionate recorder of ideas, wherever he goes and with whomever he talks. Yet, absolute quantity of ideas does not always translate into highly disruptive ideas. Why? Because “you cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction,” says Edward de Bono, author of Lateral Thinking. In other words, getting lots of ideas from lots of different sources creates the best of all innovation worlds.
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