The “Adjacent Possible” of Innovation

The “Adjacent Possible” of Innovation

The most common conceptions lead us to believe that the brightest ideas are the result of an Eureka moment, spontaneously expelled from the brightest minds of the Human Spectrum; a natural disposition that leads them to turn vacuum into inspiration, without even breaking a sweat.

But if we get back down to earth, and thoroughly analyze this conception, we will quickly realize how difficult it is to find one invention that wasn’t build from the combination of different data fragments, coming together into a genius final form.

Many may be disappointed when facing the fact that ideas don’t always represent isolated inspiration moments. In the words of Steve Johnson “the ideas are works of bricolage; they’re built out of that detritus. We take the ideas we’ve inherited or what we’ve stumbled across, and we jigger them together into some new shape.” – In “Where good ideas come from”

The North-American author mentions these “detritus” as tools we use in the creation of the best ideas our World has ever witnessed, justifying it through the susceptibility that just can’t be separated from the Human Being. The”detritus” are, essentially, all the pieces of information that surround the individual. Each piece represents debris of an idea, experiences, movies, music, books… and every little piece of information is systematically saved in an unconscious imaginary, to which not even the individual himself is able to willingly access. But unconsciously, the qualities and shapes of those debris will come together into creating potential inter-related connection channels that work as ingredients for a new idea.

Getting back to the title “the adjacent possible of creation”, one can define it as the set of the many different combinations that will potentially happen between everything that an experience embodies, and which limits are extended as new possibilities arise. So, the bigger the “detritus” storage space of your “garage” (and by that we mean mind), the bigger will be your ability to innovate and implement new and good ideas. So, if you think that creativity is not one of your strengths, just open your mind and expand your horizons to everything that already exists.

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