Adam Grant

There’s an amazing study by Justin Berg, a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor. He looks at circus performances—think Cirque du Soleil—and collects all these original acts done by different kinds of circus artists: jugglers, dancers, acrobats. He asks people to evaluate their own performances, and then he asks managers to evaluate them as well, and then he has performers judge each other’s videos.

Finally, he … [ Read more ]

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.

Adam Grant

Nancy Lublin […] prompts her people to act originally by banning words such as like, love and hate, because, as a basic visceral response, they circumvent any critical thought. Saying why something is loved or hated inspires new, substantial ideas.

Adam Grant

We have a much better memory for incomplete than complete tasks. The moment I hit send on that draft, it’s out of my mind, whereas when I leave it open, then I’m constantly processing it. I’m seeing new possibilities.

Adam Grant

If you want to be an original – the kind of nonconformist who champions new ideas and really drives creativity and change in the world – I thought you had to be an early bird, a first mover. But again, the evidence proved me wrong. Turns out that most originals are great procrastinators. The reason for this is pretty simple. […] What I noticed as … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

One of the myths that people carry around is if you want to be original, you will think, “I should do less because I want to perfect my invention or my creation.” But again, the data actually support the opposite story. Dean Simonton is a psychologist who has been studying this his whole career. What he finds is, one of the best predictors of how … [ Read more ]

Maria Popova

I often think of reading not as the acquisition of static knowledge but as the active springboard for thinking and dynamic contemplation — hence the combinatorial, LEGO-like nature of creativity, wherein we assemble building blocks of existing knowledge into new formations of understanding that we consider our original ideas.

Ann Handley, Sir Ken Robinson

The foundation for innovation consists of two things: Imagination and creativity. Imagination gives you the freedom to consider alternative views. Creativity is about applying imagination to existing systems—to challenge what we take for granted. It’s the process of figuring out if your imagined, original ideas have value.

David Burkus

When we face a tough creative challenge, we always look to those with the most expertise. The truth is that some level of expertise matters, but the most creative solutions come from those on the fringes of the subject area, who know enough to understand but not enough to block their creative thinking. Research shows that, over the course of their careers, most individuals tend … [ Read more ]

David Burkus

When we’re stuck on a creative challenge, it can become easy to place blame on our constraints. If we had more resources or less specific requirements, then our creativity could really soar. The truth is that creativity is highest in a constrained environment. Researchers found that individuals are more creative after engaging in tasks laden with obstacles and roadblocks. That’s why many of the most … [ Read more ]

George Bernard Shaw

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.

Chip Conley

Freeing up the mind is a good way to get to inspiration. We fill our lives with so little space. Inspiration looks for crevices to parachute into. The fewer crevices you create in your life, the less likely you are to have inspiration come through you. You need to allow yourself to be a vessel so that something can come through you.

Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg

Thinking outside the box is a complete myth. It is based on flawed research from the 1970s. Subsequent research shows that simply telling people to think outside the box does not improve their creative output. It sends people on cognitive wild goose chases.

Thinking inside the box constrains the brain’s options and regulates how it produces ideas. By constraining and channeling our brains, we make them … [ Read more ]

Tony Hsieh

Meet lots of different people without trying to extract value from them. You don’t need to connect the dots right away. But if you think about each person as a new dot on your canvas, over time, you’ll see the full picture.

Jim Collins

What do humans do? We create. We don’t have to learn to be creative. We have to unlearn what gets in the way of our creativity. Discipline, on the other hand, is not the natural human state. So it’s a differentiating factor. What is super rare is the ability to blend creative thinking with discipline and to do it in such a way that the … [ Read more ]

Jonah Lehrer

We use creativity in the singular, as if there’s one way the brain generates new connections. But there are probably three neurologically distinct forms of creativity. One is when you have these moments of insight that come out of the blue–when you have epiphanies in the shower. Those seem to come from the part of the brain that’s involved in things like the interpretation of … [ Read more ]

Keith Sawyer

As Keith Sawyer demonstrates in Group Genius, his influential book on creativity, the process of brainstorming, at least as it’s been practiced since its creation in the 1950s by advertising icon Alex Osborn (the “O” in the Madison Avenue firm of BBDO), has been a better marketing success than business tool. “Brainstorming is the most popular creativity technique of all time,” Sawyer argues. “There’s just … [ Read more ]

Jim Collins

Creativity is natural and abundant, the natural human state. We are creative beings. Being creative is not the hard part. The hard part is figuring out how to marry creativity to discipline so that the discipline amplifies the creativity, rather than squelching it. Truly great entrepreneurs do not just have a great idea (and often, they copy their ideas from others). … [ Read more ]

Robert Fritz

The fundamental nature of problem solving is to drive something (the problem) out of existence. The fundamental nature of creating is to bring something that is desired into existence.

Margaret Wheatley

We can”t be creative if we refuse to be confused