Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
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Videos

Good leaders don’t give advice — they coach

Stop prescribing advice and start helping people come up with their own solutions.

All managers want to see their employees thrive, but it can be tricky to maintain a balance between guiding and hand-holding.

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Personal Growth

Part-time work is humane and should be respected and encouraged

Who would prefer a 30-hour work week? A lot of people, it turns out.

I woke up on a recent Tuesday morning and, while my husband got ready for work, I fixed some not-quite-healthy breakfast for the kids, harangued them until they brushed their teeth and put on shoes and socks, and drove them to school.

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Personal Growth

Burnout is now officially a medically-recognized syndrome

Medical science finally acknowledges what workers have known for years.

Photo by Bruce Mars on Pexels
  • The World Health Organization has finally declared burnout a real syndrome with medical consequences.
  • The condition, discussed in medical literature since the '70s, is well known and has affected millions.
  • Treating burnout isn't so simple, and requires organizational changes.
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Mind & Brain

Having a purpose in life can affect how long you live

New research shows that aimlessness can be fatal.

Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash
  • New research examined the association between life purpose and mortality and found that individuals who felt they had no purpose in life tended to die earlier.
  • Study participants with low life purpose scores typically died from cardiovascular and digestive tract conditions.
  • The researchers speculate that this could be due to elevated and chronic inflammation caused by a low sense of psychological well-being.
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Personal Growth