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Creativity Comments by Winston J. Brill, Ph.D.
03/02 Creativity Comment
In the previous
Creativity Comment, I asked how we can explain that so many of our
great ideas occur while thinking of something other than the
problem the great idea eventually solves. Why do so few great ideas occur during meetings?
And why do many of our great ideas occur away from the
MONTHLY MENTOR subscribers tell me that their experiences confirm
the results from my study of the human side behind 350 great
Do these observations then show that minimizing meetings,
working in isolation with less concentration on work, and a
shorter workday will stimulate creativity?
I don’t think so. The
people who had these great ideas “had” their work with them
when they were alone, and “brought” their work with them when
they weren’t working, even when they weren’t at work.
In other words, the people who had these great ideas were so
interested in their work activities that the interest remained
high, even when they were away from the workplace.
We spend most of our hours away from the workplace. This interest primed the minds of these people so they were
open to sensory inputs and thoughts, some of which result in
connections that lead to great ideas.
We never know where and when such inputs trigger new ideas.
If someone isn’t very interested in work responsibilities,
his or her mind just won’t be accessible—especially after
leaving the workplace—to making these connections.