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  • Ian Gibbs

Keeping Your New Ideas Out Of The Box


Whenever we go on holiday to the seaside, my kids will usually come across interesting shells on the beach which are picked up and presented to me for admiration and which then have to be put in the beach bag and taken home.


Once home, the towels are washed, the sand is swept away and the interesting shells are placed in the ‘interesting shell’ box on the kitchen windowsill to be forgotten and gather dust until someone puts them in the dishwasher.

 

I sometimes use this metaphor of interesting shells during my Learning Clubs. Just like my kids with their shells, we constantly come across interesting ideas which have potential value.


If we could take those interesting ideas and apply them to our normal modus operandi we could become better at what we do.


Sadly, just like the shells, these ideas get put aside for a moment and forgotten.


It’s only when we are reminded about it some time later do we think ‘ah, yes, I know about that' or 'Yes, I definitely should try applying that the next time I need it.’ only to then set the idea aside again and let it get buried under a whole pile of incoming urgencies.

 

The problem is that we easily lose focus on those interesting ideas. The longer our attention is turned on other more shiny matters, the less likely we are going turn back to them.


This is one of the ways Learning Clubs support their members to develop.


Learning Clubs provide focus.


When you're a member of a Learning Club, you announce to the other members what you want to get better at. Your Learning Club meeting provides time to focus on those important ideas you want to convert into actions without distractions or interruptions.


But you don't need to be a member of a Learning Club to do it. All you need is to take a quiet half hour and focus on the important ideas you've come across recently that you'd like to put into practice.


Maybe you've made a note of them somewhere.


Maybe you just need to jog your memory.


But without focussing, you'll quickly forget about those important ideas which will soon start to gather dust along with those interesting shell that are left in the box.

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