Monday, September 16, 2013

On balance - connectivity and reflectivity

Doing the Coursera MOOC on creativity, innovation and change, I cam across this video which argues that connectivity is central in the creative process. Hunches merge together from various sources until creative new ideas are born. This is not a new argument I think, and there are various forms of this that suggests urbanisation is also critical because it promotes a critical mass of thinkers. This whole idea fits in well with the concept of emergence, where new things emerge from that are genuinely new and not entirely predictable from what was before (see Reinventing the Sacred by Stuart Kauffman).

The internet is a two edged sword. Communication can promote an exchange of ideas, but it also distracts us. As the book Quiet suggests, we introverts need quiet and distraction free time to muse over ideas, ruminate and think deeply. It is only then that new ideas can be appropriately integrated.

So what is really needed is balance; deep reflective thinking and stimulation to new ideas and experiences, strategic thinking and exploration and random walking through ideas, serious reading of articles and books and scanning of Tweets and Facebook. How that mix looks will depend upon the individual. Get it wrong overall and a thinker is either doomed to inaction or constant reaction.

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