Let me use HYPERBOLE to drive home my point.
There is nothing more important for you to do then incubate and implement.
Here is what you do not lack. You do not lack good ideas. Good ideas are everywhere. Great information is all around you in endless supply. These days, it is only about three clicks away on your computer.
But . . .
Ideas you understand and implement, well that is another matter altogether.
It was about 15 years ago, when I was trying to understand how transformation takes place, and why it seems so little transformation is taking place in the church (which is above all, about transformation), I discovered a few things.
(1) Information by itself is not enough. The church (like many other organizations in our world) specializes in information distribution. We have tons of information. In the church we call it Bible teaching.
(2) Information by itself does not lead to transformation. If it did, after every Sunday morning message, the following week would be full of transformation. And we all know that doesn't happen. In fact, not only is transformation not occurring, but the studies tell us that people don't even remember 95% what was talked about 24 hours later!
(3) A middle step was missing. A core ingredient was missing. The process was lacking something. And then, I don't remember the circumstances, the word INCUBATION came to my mind... and suddenly, I knew I had found the word that described the missing piece in the process. Here is what I wrote down.
Information ---- Incubation ---- Transformation
As time went on, I fleshed out this idea in much more detail. You can find a one page summary overveiw in chart form by downloading this PDF.
(4) Ideas need to be incubated. An idea is the seed, but the seed is just a seed. There is the potential of great fruit in that seed, but the seed must be placed into a place, an environment, a process of germination or incubation.
(5) Incubation/germination simply means you have to spend time thinking about an idea. Seeing it, understanding it, "getting it," knowing it. You have to ponder, consider and reflect on that idea. Not just the idea in theory, but the idea as applied to your life.
- What is the idea all about?
- What difference will this idea make in my life?
- How will I use this idea in my life?
(6) As the incubation process goes on, you begin to work it out in life. Reflection leads to action which leads to more reflection which leads to adjustments and so on. This is the implementation step. All true incubation is loaded with activity. Reflecting and learning are not simply cerebral activities. They are holistic - involving mind, emotions, will, action. And this very process is the way to transformation.
(7) Here is the bad news. 1000 really great ideas will mean nothing for your life if those ideas are not incubated and implemented. Most of us are going through our lives being exposed to great ideas after another. And we remain unchanged.
(8) Here is the really good news. If you find five or a dozen of the most intriguing, really great ideas... and if you devote lots of time to reflecting and acting on your reflection, those ideas will become truly transformative. Most great lives are simply the end product of the person finding those few truly great ideas that resonate, and then spending the REST OF YOUR LIFE incubating, implementing, going deeper and going further. I have about a dozen really great ideas that I just never stop working with and working out into my life.
And a side note... this is how knowledge becomes wisdom.
(9) QUESTION: Do you know your really great ideas? Have you identified them? Do you know what is calling to you and inviting you to spend a lifetime processing and implementing?
(10) EXERCISE: Write them down. In a phrase or a sentence. No need to long explanations. Just make a list of the really great ideas that are changing your life because you are incubating and implementing them.
(11) You don't know them? Well then, it is time to start finding some.
(12) You know them but you aren't doing much with them! Well then, it is time to start working the process.
In the next few days, I am going to give you some ideas on this.
So, What All Do You Have Going For You?
Time for a Personal Inventory
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International