Thursday, 4 November 2010

Step Away From The Desk: How To Get Those Big Ideas

There was a piece in the FT on Monday entitled ‘How To Be An Iconoclast’ that featured Gregory Berns, professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University and author of ‘Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How To Think Differently’. Berns says that if you are in the same environment with the same people every day, you’re unlikely to have radical ideas: “the easiest way to create new ideas and remix old ones is to put yourself in situations you’ve never been in before”.

I’ve banged on about this in many previous posts but it still amazes me when I see companies - big and small - task their people to come up with great ideas, and expect that to happen at their desks or in the office. It ‘aint gonna happen.

That’s why I use train rides and coffee shops to do my ‘big thinking’. It’s why I’m going to Paris next month to start writing my third book.

So if your business or organisation is looking to produce new thinking, send your people out to a coffee shop, for a walk in the park, a train ride to see a client. If you liberate people from the corporate baggage of flip charts, brainstorm sessions and agendas, you might find that’s when the ideas will flow.

Try it.

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