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The best place to capture the big IDEA

In the shower?

2 June 2003 Warren Edwardes interviewed by Carey Goldberg, The Boston Globe  on idea generation.

Full article

"I often get great ideas whilst in the shower or when driving alone." says Warren Edwardes, ceo of London based financial product innovation and risk management consulting firm, Delphi Risk Management and author of <Key financial instruments: understanding and innovating in the world of derivatives>

"But the problem in these places is how to write down the idea as I have a poor memory. I solved the latter problem by phoning my answerphone and leaving a message, of course using a hands free system. And I have little note pads scattered around my home. It is capturing that fleeting idea that's the key before it butterflies away."

"So what's the connection between showering and driving? If I say that they are both mindless tasks that implies that I should be concentrating more on the road whilst driving - and you would be right.
And how about in a Sauna or Steam Bath? These sound ideal but one would need a steam-proof telephone or a suitable writing instrument. Perhaps at the hairdresser or dentist? Well I've long stopped going to the barber, cutting my own hair whilst showering, and my dentist seems to understand my Neanderthal grunting in response to his questions. "

But I find that I get my best ideas as a delegate to a conference, sitting there in the second row listening to a tedious speaker who is reading out a speech written by an assistant and me trying to stifle a ginormous yawn and making out that my nods are in agreement. Well my mind just goes walkabout but remembers to send messages to my hand which gets to write down the ideas."

"So perhaps the secret to idea-time is to generate idle-time. These could be situations where you are not reading a book or watching a film; maybe in the bus or train looking out of the window; maybe jogging in the park or on an exercise bike; certainly not in one of these oh so contrived brainstorming sessions; and advisedly not driving a car!"

From: Goldberg@globe.com
To: we@dc3.co.uk
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 7:10 PM
Subject: comment for the boston globe?

Dear Mr. Edwardes  -- Greetings -- I'm a science and health reporter at The Boston Globe newspaper, and write a monthly column on neuroscience and psychology news-you-can-use. I've decided to write my column this week on why so many great ideas come to people while in the bathroom, often while shaving or showering, and I noticed that you touch on a similar theme in your speech...So I wondered if you might have a moment to share your understanding on why this may be -- why inspiration so often seems to come among porcelain...? (And also, what can we do if we want to have more such
bathroom moments without staying locked in the actual room?)

Thank you so much in advance and all my best -- Carey

Carey Goldberg
Health/Science reporter
The Boston Globe
PO Box 2378
Boston, MA 02107-2378


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Delphi Risk Management: Delphi creativity Delphi communication & Delphi control are the Innovation, Communication & Risk Management arms of Delphi Risk Management Limited 

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