A (Maybe I Should Just Quit Calling them Quick) Note About Where Ideas Come From


This blog is called "From the Mind of Mike Jacka". Let's take a scary little visit into that mind.
People often want to know how one gets started being creative and what one should do to be creative and, the ultimate impossible to answer question, "Where do you get your ideas?"
Attached is a picture that shows how creativity, idea generation, and innovation came together for me yesterday.
I've got an idea for a project I'm thinking of pitching to the IIA based on some of Seth Godin's work. (At this very moment, a collective chill went through the spines of IIA Headquarters' staff as they all started trying to figure out how to make me someone else's problem.)
As I grappled with what this project would really be "about", I started scribbling.
That color-coded conglomeration of uncalibrated calligraphy captured in the attached image is my personal brainstorming session. It is the way, in this instance, I recorded and coordinated (yes, those are coordinated) my ideas. (And, since this picture was taken, more has been added.)
Now I draw your attention to a little area on the far right hand side. I know you can't see it that well, but there is a section in purple just below all the writing in blue.
While generating ideas around my proposal, I found myself traveling down a strange little wormhole. That wormhole will be the subject of my next column in the magazine. (Is that David I see suddenly hiding under his desk?)
Had I not been exploring, had I not been stretching, had I not been frantically documenting, and had I not been keeping my eyes open, what I think will be an excellent topic for discussion might never have come to be.
No one really has the ultimate answers to the how, what, and where of creativity. Everyone has to come up with their own answers. But to do that you have to explore and find your way.
And I'll climb on my soapbox one more time.
I've said it before; I'll say it again. To succeed – to maintain relevance in the future – internal auditors must embrace creativity and innovation.
Now, go out and start scribbling.


Posted on Sep 13, 2013 by Mike Jacka

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