Friday, August 16, 2013

Unlikely Sources of Professional Creative Inspiration

This summer at Oklahoma State University in the PhD in Business for Executives program, me and my fellow teammates did a preliminary study into the sources of Professional Creativity in the workplace.  Our goal was to try to begin to understand how and where professionals become inspired for creativity.  We uncovered some interesting results...

Below, have a look at our final presentation to get a deeper understanding of our study (my co-authors agreed to allow me to publish this on my blog). We interviewed 8 professionals, 4 who work in 'traditionally creative roles', and 4 who work in what many might consider 'not very creative roles'...

Here are some of the big surprises:

  1. All 8 of our informants thought they were highly creative... leading us to think that role doesn't matter in terms of how people perceive themselves as creative.
  2. Most of our informants found themselves to be "Struck by Deep Creative Inspiration" while OUT OF THE OFFICE!
  3. Common activities that generated creative ideas were: walking, exercising, sleeping and bathroom activities (showering, brushing teeth, etc.).
  4. Common locations for inspiration were: outdoors in nature, bathroom, and relaxing with friends.
  5. One surprisingly insightful moment was when one of our informants mentioned the idea of "vulnerability" as a catalyst to inspiration... this idea seemed new and worthy of further study.... looking at our commonalities between informants we saw many examples of this vulnerability: showering, sleeping, etc., and could not find any prior research that explored the topic of vulnerability helping to inspire creativity.
What about you?  Where are you when you find that 'inspiration' strikes most often?  Driving? In Bed?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


3 comments:

  1. Personally, I find that Driving in my car is the time when my best creative inspiration strikes.

    Especially after a good Taekwando workout.

    ReplyDelete
  2. a little footnote: the SlideShare embed code has a bug....
    If you use their code.. fullscreen doesn't work right:


    Instead you need to remove the: max-width:512px; from the style, and all works better. also adding a leading div helped too...

    ReplyDelete
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