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Lesson 1, Topic 4
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Idea Exploration

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In our human optimiser model, we explore the model of Ikagai. Here we have adopted and adapted this model to help you explore your business ideas and evaluate how they will support your life.

When we work in ways we don’t love, in ways we aren’t good at, in ways that don’t reward us or the word, we lose motivation, momentum and ultimate energy. It’s hard for us to fully commit to something that isn’t giving us a sense of satisfaction or in other words, a sense of purpose.

When we are off purpose, we are stuck, living in groundhog day. Our energy is drained, and we often don’t have the motivational force, driving us to make a change that supports us.

Living on purpose means to take charge of the way we live our lives and conduct our business, in ways that support us, not drain us.

What you are seeing here is a diagram of a business model, that’s modelled on an ancient Japanese philosophy called Ikagai.

Ikigai (pronounced “eye-ka-guy”) is a Japanese term that roughly translates to “reason for being.” or, in our words, a way to find your purpose and live it. The concept is derived from the island “Okinawa’ a region where life expectancy far exceeds ours in the west. One of the longest living humans on our planet, all studies leading to the utilisation of this concept.

Let’s Play with Your Ideas

The best way to learn is actually to play, to experience the concept being shared, so that is exactly what we want you to do, explore your ideas using the Conceive Canvas.

The conceive canvas is set up so that you can actually model out a business, product/service or career idea, that will support and light up your life, your ultimate life, not the other way around.

The Tool we are referring to here is the Ideation Canvas; the first stage of the Conceive Board. 

This type of idea modelling is not a quick-fix or immediate solution to a windy or unstable career path or unsatisfying business. It is meant to be a long-term practise or concept that you take on and apply to your work. It will evolve and change as you do as a human and business leader.

The premise of this modelling activity is to align you as a business leader to your own personal purpose and identity to align the things you do to the things that motivate you. You should be searching for and fulfilling your Ikigai every single day—and it may change. The answers to those questions might come straight away, but they might come after this session,  probably when you least expect it or even when you’re not thinking about it.

It is meant to be a long-term practise or concept that you take on and apply to your work. It will evolve and change as you do as a human and business leader.

But the premise of this is to align you as a business leader to your own personal purpose and identity to align the things you do to the things that motivate you. You should be searching for and fulfilling your ikigai every single day—and it may change. The answers to those questions might come straight away, but they might come after this session,  probably when you least expect it or even when you’re not thinking about it.

Depending on how far along your idea is, you might complete this activity at a very high level, i.e. you really don’t have an idea yet… you can use this activity to try and come up with a create an idea. If you already have an idea use this to focus on the detail of the idea, i.e. for each area and question focus on the idea when answering.

What you are good at & love to do?

What do you love to do with your time that you are naturally good at or naturally improve at? 

If you are focusing on developing or identifying an idea, you might like to identify all of the things that you love to do and are good at. If you’ve got an idea, answer this specific to the idea.

There’s a caveat here, we can be good at anything and we’ll never be perfect at anything without practice. Neuroscience proves that our brains can stretch and grow new neural pathways in anything we focus long enough on and dedicate ourselves to. However some things are harder for us to learn, they take more energy and far more focus and dedication. 

What we are looking for here are the things that you are naturally good at, the things that just come to you that you equally enjoy and perhaps learn easily, they just make sense.

The things you are good at are the go-to things you’ll like to do over the others. These additions might identify; the state many call flow. When you blend the things you love, enable Flow state.

Notice your flow state – Flow is the state, where your brain is stretched to challenge you enough to get you fired up, but not enough to get you into unhealthy stress. FLOW is where you can focus on a task or thing for hours and lose time, bodily needs become secondary because you are in flow. The things that get you inflow, are often linked directly to things you love.

What does your world need?

What does the world need that you are passionate about? Perhaps you remember things that you were passionate about as a kid that still tell a story of who you are today. What your world needs is what are the problems you can see in your world today that need fixing or improving?

  • What topics do you notice you talk about a lot with passionate heat?
  • When you have space to just be and just do whatever, what are you drawn to do?
  • What would you like to do in your work that could change your world?

In this section of the canvas, your goal is to dump all of the things you’d love to provide a solution to.

What can you be rewarded for?

What are the things that you can get both personally and professionally rewarded for doing? These might be an extension of what you love to do and are good, or perhaps they are the outcomes of what you love to do and are good at i.e. selling the creation, helping or teaching people in a topic you are good at.

Emotional rewards;

  • What do you get personal satisfaction from?
  • What lights you up inside when you complete?

Physical rewards;

  • What can you get tangible rewards from? In business money is an asset we aim to gain as a return on investment of our time.

In this section of the canvas, your goal is to dump all of the things could get rewarded for, for example, developing and selling a product, offering a service. Assisting others. 

 

Work from the heartbeat of the business!

When you have completed your brain dump on this template, review your ideas, and identify the ones that stand out to you the most, circle or mark these. See if you could take one or more from each to formulate an overall business or product or service idea. 

When you conceive an idea that meets all three elements you have a business heartbeat. 

The next step is to dig deeper into the idea and start to explore how you could formulate it so you get to spend the majority of your time in a flow state – what product or service solutions and or business structure would enable you to be able to do this? 

To be able to explore the foundations of your design  idea, use the next stage of the canvas to map out and compare to different ideas, they could be two really similar ideas with a slightly different mix or two contrasting ideas. Feel free to do more than two if you find this process beneficial!

Use the second stage of the canvas to refine one or more ideas (heartbeats). This is your activity focus this week. Finish off your brain dump in the first canvas and take two hearts beats and flesh them out in more depth. Drill down answering the same questions but more specifically to the idea itself.

When you have done this, reflect on the ideas, continue to evolve them and then select the strongest heartbeat to focus on for the rest of the course, and nurture it.

Between now and our next session, focus on this, finalising stage 1 of the ideation canvas. And reflect on this activity in your journal. 

Awesome start, Learnivator!