Hacking The Hype: Why Hackathons Don’t Work As buzz-worthy business trends go, hackathons — where people from different backgrounds come together to work on a project for a few intense, caffeine-fueled days — are a top contender. They’re most common in Silicon Valley: At Facebook and Google, hackathons are hallowed traditions. Even old-economy companies like GM and GE use them. They’re popular in research and education, too: This year, MIT hosted numerous hackathons, including Hacking Arts, Hacking Rehabilitation and even the second annual breast pump hackathon: Make the Breast Pump Not Suck! We get it. But there’s a downside to the hackathon hype, and our research on designing workplace projects for innovation and learning reveals why. Hackathons, with their feverish pace, lack of parameters and winner-take-all culture, discourage this process. The biggest disadvantage of hackathons is in many ways their draw: They are divorced from reality. “Solving” a problem in a vacuum is, however, a waste of time and money.
18 Signs You Are Killing Your Creativity — Personal Growth 18 Signs You Are Killing Your Creativity “Creativity is contagious, pass it on” — Albert Einstein You can make a significant impact in the world in your own small way if you expand your horizon and start asking: why? You are supposed to explore and make yourself better, smarter and stay remarkable. Some people are killing their creative instincts without knowing it. People’s lives would be more fulfilling if they were given greater freedom in the workplace. “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.”― Napoleon Hill Want to make sure you never come up with a great idea again? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. “Don’t think. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” — Leo Burnett The author is the curator at Postanly, a free weekly newsletter that delivers the most popular and insightful long-form posts from top publishers.
9 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Creativity 9 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Creativity Creativity is like a muscle. It must be stretched, challenged, and occasionally pushed past its comfort zone. In a previous column, I shared nine ways you can become more creative in just 10 minutes. Now it’s time to stretch your creative muscles again. Here are nine ways you can dramatically improve your creativity. 1. Curiosity will lead you to creativity. Andrew Ng, formerly of Google and now of Baidu, is one who doesn’t believe innovation is due to unpredictable flashes of genius. “In my own life, I found that whenever I wasn’t sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts. Indeed, collaborating with and learning from others may be just what you need to give your creativity a boost. 2. Stuck for ideas? “That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes,” Einstein wrote. Love and creativity are intertwined. 3. 4. 5. Crazy, right.
Coloring, Creativity, and Why There’s Freedom in Limitation Way, way back in the day, I used to work at a psychiatric facility. I really liked a lot about that job. Most of my patients were just normal men and women dealing with chronic anxiety and mood disorders like depression, and I enjoyed helping them. I wasn’t a nurse or doctor or anything: I was a psychiatric technician—basically a glorified orderly, if you get down to it. One of the things that I did during my tenure as a psych tech was to institute an evening activities class. The coloring sheets offered no such obstacles. These experiences taught me that limitations can actually spark the imagination when unlimited creative freedom won’t. Professional artists of all types have known about this paradox for a long time. I’ve not worked in the psych unit for many years now, but it seems that coloring books for adults have found their way into the mainstream. There are plenty of people who have been taught that they can’t create art or that they aren’t creative. Want to get started now?
Where does 'creativity' happen in your brain? Even in the wilderness that is human thinking, creative ideas seem to be deliberately designed to defy empirical inquiry. There is something elusive, perhaps even mystical, about them – visits from the muse or lightbulbs come to mind. So what are neuroscientists to do if they want to study inspiration in the lab, under tightly controlled conditions? Clearly, they cannot simply take volunteers, shove them into the nearest brain scanner, and tell them: now please be creative. Trying to nail jelly to the wall Yet, many brain scientists have done just that, with tragic consequences. But can we really expect a test that asks you to imagine weird uses of a brick in a one-minute period to pick out the brain of an Einstein from that of a certified public accountant? The AUT has two problems that render it unusable for neuroscience research. But creativity is a complex psychological phenomenon that taps into many different mental processes, and the AUT cannot identify the ones that matter.
Creativity Is Nourished by Conflict Creativity Is Nourished by Conflict Talk to any brilliant creative about their life leading up to their success and you’ll discover some messy stuff. The role of conflict — conflict with others and conflict within — is especially evident when you examine the inflection points in creative careers. Consider the inner conflict of depression for a famous painter like Vincent van Gogh, or the role of a devastating break-up that inspires a career-making album like Alanis Morisette’s breakthrough Jagged Little Pill. Look anywhere and you’ll see it, from Woody Allen’s finest films developed during bouts of his depression to Janet Jackson’s triple-platinum album The Velvet Rope — widely attributed to a battle with anxiety from a failed marriage and a difficult childhood. Creativity is nourished by conflict. Another example hits home this year, and especially this week. For most of the last 10 years, Rachel would take any gig she could get. It is also true in teams.
The Power Of Routines In Sustaining Creativity Austin-based author and artist Sunni Brown makes sense of problems through her dual talents: writing and doodling. She runs consulting firm Sunni Brown Ink, where she helps businesses solve problems using a visual mapping system she calls infodoodling. She's written two books about unlocking creativity, Gamestorming (2010) and The Doodle Revolution (2015), and has just begun working on a third. But before she helps others unlock their creative potential, she has to channel some inspiration for herself. Here's how she does it: On Routines: On one hand, I'm a writer. The Mind-Body Connect: I think that physical movement is extremely beneficial for any kind of work. The Weekend Plan: Up until about three months ago, I didn't know if it was Monday or Saturday. Best Business-Travel Story? Work Philosophy: This is going to sound philosophical, but my inspiration comes from being motivated by my own core belief system. The Antidote To Facebook: I'm a huge meditator.
What the Research Tells Us About Team Creativity and Innovation courtesy of NASA/ESA There are areas in the research on teams where the findings are all very clear, as are the prescriptions for leaders. Creativity and innovation are not among them. Creativity researchers usually make a distinction between creativity and innovation. Here are some of the key things that we do know contribute to innovation, based on a comprehensive meta-analysis: A compelling vision. While these ideas may not be entirely surprising, don’t be misled by their familiarity; creating these conditions is still challenging work. What facilitates creativity can hinder innovation—and vice versa. The routes to team innovation are still being developed.
18 Habits Of Highly Creative People