August 25, 2011

The Individuation of Ideas. ~ Jennifer Sertl

Photo: C*ligeia

I am thinking how appreciative I am to be born and “awake” at this particular moment in time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

I know I am a learner and I’d say 100 percent of my circles are learners. Let’s really capture what is going on so we can articulate and learn these lessons for our children.

Remember that poignant movie, The Red Violin

The violin took on the character and absorbed the personality of each of the owners across history. I think ideas are the same way. They don’t belong to any one of us in particular. If we are lucky an idea or inspiration may “land” on us and allow our articulation to introduce the concept to the world. But voicing the idea does not mean ownership. After all, ideas build based on all of our exposures, conversations, reading and listening.

I think Virginia Woolf said it best:

“Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.”

Perhaps you have also heard of Rupert Sheldrake and his term morphic resonance. We are all in the field of shared experiences and many of the concepts bounce from genius in the past to contemporary voices. Two or more individuals in completely different communities will all of a sudden have the same “epiphany” due to a “cloud of wisdom.”

Photo: Don LaVange

In a “sharing economy,” the hardest part is having to trust that you will get the acknowledgement you need and most of all, will not be left out as your ideas trade hands, improve and take on a life of their own. Just like a child grows independently, so do ideas, and the same psychological individuation is required.

Perhaps this is why I think we need to do a better job of supporting, acknowledging and affirming one another. If more people feel “safer” in sharing their ideas, I think we will get a lot more brilliance from everyone around us.

Believe me, knowing this intellectually, doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of insecurity in my bones.

Perhaps in this writing, I will find more courage to honor and release the wonderful ideas that have somehow decided to land in my life.

Having insight isn’t so much about being intelligent as it is about being present.

Walking bravely forward,


Jennifer Sertl is president and founder of the organizational effectiveness company Agility3R.  She is also the internationally respected author of the book Strategy, Leadership and the Soul, published by Triarchy Press in 2010.  Recognized as a pioneer in the emerging field of corporate consciousness, her insight has stimulated paradigm shifts in executive leadership, employee engagement and shareholder responsibility within over thirty businesses in the transportation, telecommunications and health care industries – including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Frontier Communications, Genesee and Wyoming Inc., Optimax Systems Inc., Zotos International, Global Crossings, Landsman Development Company and Tabtronics.


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