Ideation and the Voices in My Head

"I know the voices in my head aren't real...but sometimes their ideas are just absolutely awesome!"Until I took the Strengths Finder assessment inventory quiz thingy as part of a leadership development program at Wycliffe a few years ago, I didn’t have the word to use that describes one of the things about me that I didn’t know was a thing: IDEATION.

I have ideas. Lots of them. I love good ideas. I love them whether or not they have anything to do with whatever I’m supposed to be accomplishing. I have a Pinterest board where I collect ideas I like just because I like them.

The great thing about Ideation is that I can often improve on an existing something. I see connections between things that help bring clarity around how something could be understood or done better. (Ideation without implementation is an issue. I have to surround myself with people who can follow-through and chase details for any of this to be worth much. Oh, how I need others!)

An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. I find great joy and satisfaction in taking the world we all know and turning it sideways and so we can view it from a strange but (hopefully) enlightening angle. I understand the world in metaphors and those help me see things anew. I really do love ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. (Thanks to Gallup for those words which are spot on.) So, when I saw this silly Minion on someone’s Facebook timeline recently, I may have laughed more than others because it’s so frighteningly and wonderfully me.


More about the Strengths Finder things through which I learned what my top 5 strengths (according to the thingy) are. More recently I took the thingy again and had a one-on-one session with someone who is licensed to help people understand what the results actually mean and who could give me access to the whole list of strengths in order and not simply the top five. I found this to be exponentially more helpful.

Taking the thingy a second time brought slightly different results to my top 5, but mostly confirmed that my top strengths are what they are. (For those familiar with the test, I’ll quench your curiosity now with my 2013 Top Five results here: 1. Connectedness, 2. Strategic, 3. Ideation, 4. Individualization, and 5. Arranger. And, for the really curious, my results from 2009-ish:  1. Strategic, 2. Ideation, 3. Empathy, 4. Connectedness, 5. Developer.)

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