Have you ever thought how an idea takes shape and materializes? Here’s my personal experience!
The journey my ideas usually follow as they materialize into action is this: thought – explanation – visualization – implementation.
My ideas start as a fuzzy possibility in my mind. After an initial argument with myself, I usually find an interlocutor.
Discussion helps me to sharpen my own argument, forces me to come up with examples which drives associations. The ideal discussion partner walks the fine line between confrontation and participation.
In the course of the discussion, the examples I give in an effort to convince my counterpart often come associated with images. A nearby board and marker are often handy as I may use ad-hoc diagrams to make my points.
Following the discussion I usually take those incipient early diagrams and try to focus them to where I feel they capture the essence of the problem space associated with the idea. The first diagrams are usually notional, with subsequent diagrams adding concrete detail.
At the point where enough detail is present, an action plans naturally emerges. I am ready for implementation.
This process is neither linear nor smooth. There are qualitative discontinuities where, during any one of these steps I have “aha” moments where things suddenly and almost mysteriously connect. These become structural nodes in the idea’s architecture.