My Take This article has a few great topics for us. I think the primary message is the first one. One of the best ways to be creative is to be open to all kinds of ideas and experiences (the Openness to Experience trait of the Five Factor model) and to frequently expose yourself to new and novel ones. It is possible to do this by following a diverse group of thought leaders who post intelligent content. Of course, it is also possible for social…
Mindfulness. It seems to be the holy grail for everything these days. From productivity improvement to psychotherapy. It also seems to be something we are not particularly good at, as this episode of South Park hilariously illustrates (skip forward to minute 10). A 2010 study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert found that we are mentally absent for half of our waking hours.
In Howard Rheingold’s 1993 book Virtual Communities, one of the earliest works to chronicle the reality of life online, he laid out two rules for the coming age: “Rule Number One is to pay attention. Rule Number Two might be: attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention.”
Defining curiosity is the first challenge because so many experts from the fields of education, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience define it differently. The simplest, and the one that I personally prefer, is the one used by Celeste Kidd and Benjamin Hayden at the U of Rochester “a drive state for information.” This is independent of any tangible reward. The information is the desired reward.
Philosopher Thomas Hobbes called it “the lust of the mind.” Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt said it was “the most useful gift.” And, yes, we all know what killed the cat. But ask a group of scientists to define curiosity and you’ll get a rousing debate, and a lot of unanswered questions about its biology. No more, argue two University of Rochester researchers in a review of curiosity science published November 4 in Neuron. They propose that it’s time for researchers to organize and focus on curiosity’s function, evolution, mechanism, and development.
As a Co-Founder and CEO of LUMA Institute, Chris leads a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team of practitioners located around the world who are passionate about preparing organizations to be more innovative. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of design and innovation in the US, Europe, and Asia and is co-author of the book “Innovating for People.”
If you did not attend the UX Day Keynote session by Chris Pacione from the LUMA Institute, you missed a great interactive experience in innovation. He started off with a little bit of the traditional format as he explained design thinking and the LUMA Institute’s approach to innovation. But then he flipped the switch and engaged the entire audience in an interactive innovation experience.
Richard Florida has long been an advocate of what he calls the Creative Class and the relevance of co-locating in cities. Even with telecommuting and social networking and virtual organizations, his message is that the serendipity of city life can not (at least not yet) be reproduced online. Even more important now, perhaps, because we don’t need cities for the traditional reasons. Creativity is the driving force behind city prosperity.
The scientists that are trying out the newest ideas no longer tend to concentrate in big cities. The advantage of living in a big city that used to pertain basically since the 1880s all the way through the 1980s, that advantage has collapsed in the 2000s. Scientists and inventors working in small cities are trying out new ideas at the same rate as scientists working in larger cities.
I have been voraciously reading the literature on creativity over the past year. Not the crap that comes out of the self-help literature or even in the entrepreneurship mass media. These are pretty trivial and often shortchange the science. There have been many serious research studies that have broad implications for individual and business creative output. But I am not planning on sharing that research today. That will have to wait for another day. Today I want to share a really interesting creative exercise that seems to follow (intentional or not I cannot say) some of the guidelines suggested by the research.
Greg Satell has some good ideas for how to use edugames to enhance creativity in kids at school. He cites several examples of how games prime divergent thinking and creative thinking modes. This agrees with a lot of the research we have talked about here before on priming and a growth mindset.
What seemed like child’s play to most academics was actually the best way to imagine possibilities and see how their ideas reflected diverse—and often confusing—empirical clues. Today, a growing contingent of academics believes that games can have the same effect on how children learn and a company called Kidaptive is determined to prove them right. – See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/education/why_games_might_be_the_next_big_thing_in_education#sthash.sXhMAlHK.dpuf
A recent study put jazz musicians into fMRI machines while they were riffing to see if they could get some insights into creativity.
In search of a better understanding of how the mind processes complex auditory stimuli such as music, Dr. Limb has been working with Dr. Allen Braun to look at the brains of improvising musicians and study what parts of the brain are involved when a musician is really in the groove…