Saturday, May 12, 2012


Creativity is the residue of wasted time

Albert Einstein

Jonah Lehrer has a new book: "Imagine: How creativity works".  At NPR, there's a good interview with the author that explains the book from his point of view.

His first book was a great insight to decision making: "How we decide"., which I briefly reviewed here and have quoted elsewhere.

For project managers, this is all about innovation and new ideas, and how to make a project situation fertile ground.

Jonah reports on the way many innovators and people of great ideas work. Here are a few points from a recent TV interview:
  • First, epiphanies often come at times of great relaxation. "You have to make time to waste time" 
  • Second, it takes a village in a manner of speaking. We socialize for success or fail alone is Lehrer's way of putting it.
  • And third, the way we communicate and interact has great bearing: the most imaginative things come from the most casual and informal events. Bumping in the hall; gathering informally for coffee. What others have called communication by osmosis. Think about this the next time you think about a virtual team.
Lehrer reports that Steve Jobs put the restrooms at Pixar in a central place, and then allowed only two for each of men and women so that interactions would have to occur. Living and working in close quarters is something Lehrer calls the "friction of humanity". The energy of the friction is the fuel of imaginative solutions.

See this great little video that in amusing way illustrates the book.

IMAGINE: How Creativity Works from Flash Rosenberg on Vimeo.