Keys to Creativity: Daydreaming, Persistence, Ping Pong

While creativity is often treated as ephemeral and serendipitous, Jonah Lehrer examines research suggesting we can all create the conditions under which creativity is more likely to thrive. 

What's the Latest Development?

While creativity is often thought of ephemeral and serendipitous, individuals and companies can take concrete steps to establish the conditions under which creativity is more likely to thrive. For individuals, it means letting go of finding the perfect solution right now. Only when we relax, and maybe play a little ping pong, will we arrive at a truly novel solution. New ideas will also result from diversifying your social network, giving you access to how outsiders might look at your problem. Similarly, do not be afraid to become an outsider yourself, trying to solve problems you might not have the official qualifications to solve. 

What's the Big Idea?

For a company, fostering a creativity-friendly environment means coaxing serendipity out of her hiding place. By making spacial plans that force people to interact in a natural way, e.g. creating cross traffic by placing bathrooms at a central point, people will literally run into new ideas. Concentrating on failure, rather than success, will help to quickly weed out bad ideas. In general, companies should try to emulate cities, whose staying power is vastly superior to the average corporation. That means welcoming just about any idea and integrating it into a larger network of business concepts. 

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