Groupthink: how do we create?


For all our creative friends and blog readers, we’d like to share with you (if they’ve not already been on your radar!) two links on the subject of how we best create.

Paul (Reidt) recently read an article that rang true to his creative spirit: The Rise of the New Groupthink by Susan Cain. It was published in the January 15 issue of The New York Times Magazine, and it’s an excerpt from Cain’s book, Quiet. In the article, Cain says, “Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.” Cain challenges the way creativity and learning are often approached in our companies, our schools, and our culture. She presents ideas that could be a catalyst for useful changes in the way we teach our children and in the way we explore creative ideas in our workplace.

Shortly after The New York Times published Cain’s writing on the new groupthink, The New Yorker ran an article by Jonah Lehrer, Groupthink, the brainstorming myth. Lehrer’s research delves more into group creativity and expands on what Susan Cain mentions briefly about the possible profound influence of casual settings where we gather at our place of work. (Lehrer tells a fascinating story of M.I.T.’s Building 20!)  Subscribers to The New Yorker can link into the article online, and anyone can listen to a conversation (approximately 15 minutes) with the author. For that podcast, go to NewYorker.com/Go/Outloud and search for January 30, 2012 – Jonah Lehrer on how to stimulate group creativity.

Both Susan Cain’s and Jonah Lehrer’s reporting potentially offer us a springboard for creating simple yet powerful shifts in the way we work. We hope you find their stories thought provoking and useful. We’d love to hear your comments! Send me an email: linda@cabinetmakers.com.