Creative Myths : From The Creative Conspiracy

I listened to the HBR podcast episode featuring Leigh Thompson, author of Creative Conspiracy: The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration.  This sample chapter about “Debunking myths about creativity” is pretty interesting and relevant to what we do.  Just thought I’d share these principles:

  1. Teams are more creative than individuals.
  2. If you want to enhance creative teamwork, get rid of rules, guidelines, and norms.
  3. Striving for quality is better than striving for quantity.
  4. Active brainstorming is necessary to generate ideas.
  5. Brainstorming teams should work closely together and tear down boundaries.
  6. Team members should first brainstorm as a group to get the creative juices flowing, then work alone.
  7. People who are pro-social (team-oriented) are more creative than those who are pro-self (individually oriented, or just downright selfish!).
  8. Deactivating moods (e.g., peaceful reflection, relaxation, serenity) lead to more creativity than activating moods (e.g., anger, fear, happiness).

Did you really think they were true?  In fact, they are all myths!

This book is great because it digs into what this “creative conspiracy” is all about.  It makes us question what we assume to be true and may have thought was the “right” way to do things.  Moreover, it’s foundation is steeped in the scientific method but it’s recommendations are based in the real world.  That’s the struggle I have with most methodology books.  They’re either too specific to one design shop’s success at one point in time or they are so abstract as to be inapplicable.  It’s not the most entertaining read, but even if you just take the above principles to heart as you mold your own way of designing the world, you’ll be better for it.

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