I had the opportunity to speak earlier this week at the Innovators Improv. It’s a monthly gathering that brings together a variety of interesting folks from the community to share experiences, discuss questions, and raise ideas on a range of topics. I was invited to talk about “Sparking Creativity“. I wanted to share my talk as I think we all benefit from the opportunity to spark creativity in our everyday lives (stay tuned for video).
the shower and idea generation
When thinking about the idea sparking creativity I couldn’t help but think about where my own ideas are sparked – and quite often that’s in the shower. Why do our best ideas often come while we’re taking a shower …or walking the dog …or running to the bathroom between meetings? It seems so inconvenient.
The good news is that there is an actual reason for why this happens and in better understanding what’s underneath perhaps we can harness it and encourage it to happen during far more convenient (and needed) times throughout our day.
… the subtle suggestion of psychological distance seems to help people think outside the box. Jia, L. et al., “Lessons from a Faraway Land: The Effect of Spatial Distance on Creative Cognition,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (forthcoming) (Boston Globe).
The focal point of cognitive distance as it pertains to our daily creativity is that as we further ourselves physically from the problem the more able we are to tackle that problem in a creative, innovative, and out of the box kind of way.