Posted by: Liz Massey | July 17, 2011

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for July 17, 2011

Photo courtesy of SXC.

How Mobile Devices Rob You of Creativity | BNET

Health journalist Laurie Tarkan discusses the research of anthropologist Genevieve Bell, Ph.D., the director of interaction and experience research at Intel, who has found that interacting with mobile phones and other electronic devices on the go has the potential to reduce creativity, as most people develop their best ideas during “down time” – such as showering, painting the fence, or driving.

Tarkan writes:

“When you’re constantly consuming information via your devices, you stop processing the information and developing your own ideas. You have less time to think about what you’re consuming. To be effective in most jobs, you need to stop and reflect and that takes down time.”

(A hat tip on the link to


Jeffrey Baumgartner, in his biweekly newsletter, suggests that people organizing brainstorming groups in the workplace often pin too much hope on the creativity to be generated by the ideas produced by a brainstorming session, and do not pay enough attention to the creativity involved in framing the question or challenge that will be set before the group.

Creativity is a Process, Not an Accident | Max McKeown

McKeown, who is the author of “The Truth About Innovation,” lays out the basics for how creative people generate good ideas – they collect ideas, love to play with ideas, let their subconscious mind assemble ideas from raw materials, and find ways to make their great ideas practical and profitable. Nicely written and very concise!

Stitch Ripping Your Plans | QuinnCreative

Short post discussing the uses of the stitch ripper (aka the seam ripper) in sewing, and pondering how useful it might be to have such a tool when changing one’s carefully laid plans, unraveling a work dilemma, or reassessing a relationship.  Great metaphor for remaining flexible and adaptive!

10 Ways To Weed Out The Bad Ideas | American Express OPEN Forum

Helen Jean Hearn provides solid advice on how to take the results of a brainstorming session and find the good stuff amidst all the other ideas. One of her more intriguing assertions is to rate ideas on a “sexiness” scale:

“Scale the ideas in terms of their “sexiness.” By that I mean, their flash, the excitement they generated and the way they’ll make you look if implemented. Sometimes the sexiest ideas have significant flaws and the least sexy ideas have really good bones. Scaling ideas on the sexy continuum can help change perspective.”

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