I recently came across this article in the New York Times on a study, led by evolutionary behavioral scientist Dr. Gad Saad, that examines the role of culture in creativity, and specifically compares Canadian and Taiwanese residents in a brainstorming exercise. I was intrigued by the results, and see a connection to how we at Ideas To Go work to create a culture and atmosphere of creativity.
Read on for an excerpt, with my thoughts below:
It seems to me that one contributing factor was that the Canadians (per the article) were more likely to show negative reactions to the ideas of their peers. So while the Taiwanese may have come up with fewer ideas, and may have been lower on other measures, they came up with more original ideas. They were in an environment that was less likely to inhibit their creativity because they were more comfortable sharing ideas, as they were not going to be hit with a negative or "Yes, But" response—as in:
This demonstrates the importance of atmosphere when ideating. In our projects at Ideas To Go, we work to create that accepting and comfortable "culture of creativity" in many ways—primarily by training all participants in Forness® thinking, a technique that prevents people from shooting down ideas outright. Rather, it focuses on what is valuable about an idea so that participants are encouraged and able to move toward a solution, instead of toward a dead end. We have found this to be an effective way to generate original ideas—just as the Taiwanese did.
Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Consultant at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.
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Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Facilitator at Ideas To Go. She co-authored the book, "Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation™ Approach Drives Your Company Forward." Beth has been a guest on many innovation podcasts and her work has been featured in media outlets such as HuffPost and Fortune. Beth holds a BS in Business Management from Cornell University and a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and has worked in brand management at some of the premier consumer packaged goods companies—including Unilever, Kraft and Nabisco. Since joining Ideas To Go, Beth has established herself as a leader in the Innovation landscape and designed and facilitated projects for hundreds of companies—from CPG to financial services to pharmaceuticals.