Knowledge workers usually have no specific methods for developing ideas over time

Skilled knowledge workers are expected to innovate—to produce valuable, original insight. If they have some inkling of an idea, how do they actually go about fleshing that idea out over time? What does taking a step look like? Where do ideas come from?

My intuition is that most knowledge workers develop ideas intuitively, often using tacit processes, but that the process is largely undirected and based on hope that insight emerges at some point. They generally develop some provisional methods and rarely work to subsequently improve them (People generally develop skills to a plateau and then stop). I suspect that this is mostly because it’s not obvious that this is an improvable skill (Salience of improvement drives skill development).

One possible solution: Evergreen note-writing helps insight accumulate.

Last updated 2023-07-13.