Recent research reveals that people are more capable of mental novelty when thinking on behalf of others than for themselves.
Great piece on enriching the field of view and other perspectives, something we also encourage in executive coaching.
...abstract thinking leads to greater creativity. ...But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite.
Over the years, social scientists have found that abstract thinking leads to greater creativity. That means that if we care about innovation we need to be more abstract and therefore more distant. But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite. We intensify our focus rather than widen our view. We draw closer rather than step back.
That's a mistake, Polman and Emich suggest. "That decisions for others are more creative than decisions for the self... should prove of considerable interest to negotiators, managers, product designers, marketers and advertisers, among many others," they write.
Dan Pink's suggestions, excerpted:
• Recruit more independent directors. Begin with corporate governance.
~ having independent directors on the boards of public companies.
• Rethink the structure of your firm.
Perhaps loose alliances of distantly connected people
• Harness the power of peers.
....assemble a small group of peers – all from different industries – and gather periodically to exchange ideas and offer solutions from new perspectives.
• Find a problem-swapping partner.
Find a friend or colleague with whom you can occasionally swap problems...
• Disasssociate yourself.
Imagine you're doing it for someone else...