How Creativity Works

Imagine by Jonah LehrerI’d like to share this Commonwealth Club of California Radio Program I heard the other day on MPBN. In it, Jonah Lehrer talks about something very familiar to us- moments of insight, epiphanies- and breaks down the science of it. When you click through to the Commonwealth Club site, look for the Tuesday, April 10, 2012 episode.

I’m not going to tell you what it should mean to you, I just know it will mean something to you. I won’t even tell you what it means to me, because it reminds me of projects past, clients present, and goals future. Too much to convey.

In a nutshell, he says creativity can have its moment when we step away from our desks and relax, not necessarily when we “chug redbull” or “chain ourselves to our desks.”

“Creativity is the residue of time wasted,” said Albert Einstein.

But Lehrer also talks about another important element of creativity and creative people- GRIT. Grit is what makes writers, composers, and scientists grind through multiple versions of their work, unwavering in their quest for the perfect answer.

His analysis of what happens in organizations is extremely interesting- that creative problem solving within a town versus within a company/corporate environment booms in one and decreases in the other. Guess which, guess why.

Oh, and brainstorming is bullcrippity. A feel-good exercise of backpatting with very little workable outcome. I knew it!!

It’s a fascinating talk, and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think, eh?