Lunchtime Links: The Relationship Between Solitude and Creativity

Why groupthink could be the most counterproductive method for creative development. Also: Reddit and YouTube's method of explaining intricate theories teaches us a lot about communication.

Team building and collaboration strategies are good for productivity, until groupthink sets in. When it does, creativity could lose out.

How individual brainstorming could be the most creative move for a team, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Groupthink vs. Individual Brainstorming: According to Quiet author Susan Cain, introverts tend to be more creative than extroverts. They find inspiration in the solitude and don’t join in on groupthink. As companies move on to strategic group brainstorming sessions, team building and collaboration are key, but there should still be room for privacy. “It’s one thing to associate with a group in which each member works autonomously on his piece of the puzzle,” Cain wrote in a column in The New York Times last year. “it’s another to be corralled into endless meetings or conference calls conducted in offices that afford no respite from the noise and gaze of co-workers.” She believes brainstorming sessions are counterproductive and that the larger the group, the less productive it is. “In an increasingly social world, she has caused us to pause, if only for a moment, about the hidden strengths of the cerebral, the introspective, and those who prefer listening to grandstanding,” Paul Bennett of Canada’s Chronicle Herald wrote about Cain’s talk this past February at the Super Conference of the Ontario Library Association in Toronto. Do you offer your staff room for creativity to blossom individually?

Kid Talk: YouTube and Reddit recently partnered to create easy to digest video storytelling. The series, “Explain it Like I’m Five,” takes popular content from Reddit and explains it to a group of five-year-olds. You can watch the first episode, on Nietzsche’s existentialism, above. “While the videos don’t move beyond the basic facts about each topic, the material is memorable enough that I’ll probably actually remember it,” TechCrunch‘s Gregory Ferenstein writes. The video series brings up an important lesson in communication. Like Einstein taught us, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” What’s the simplest method you can use to communicate with your members? Do that.

In Question Form: What’s your association’s mission question? Journalist and author Warren Berger insists companies should write its mission as questions instead of statements. According to Berger, organizations should create a list of questions that articulate their goals, both within their industry and with their clients. These serve as a reality check on whether the organization is accomplishing its mission and, more importantly, how. “Figuring out what you want to accomplish is a continual search. Questions are the means,” he writes on Fast Company.

What interesting reads have you found today? Share them with us!


Anita Ferrer

By Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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