Fun! Off-Site Retreats Are Back

Corporate retreats: Remember them? Off-site meetings where the entire company flies or drives to a cool location for a few days of team-building, networking, and fostering corporate culture. There might be costumed characters, escape rooms, water balloon battles, yacht cruises around the harbor, open bars, famous musicians on stage. Sometimes, real work actually gets done–brainstorming… Read More Fun! Off-Site Retreats Are Back

The Collaborative Creation of Christmas

The creation of Christmas, the secular holiday, is a story of collaborative creativity. Christmas trees, giving gifts, Santa–all emerged from a distributed social process. It’s a story about history and culture; about the industrial revolution and the family; and about how our conceptions of childhood have changed. It’s a story of social innovation. Some older… Read More The Collaborative Creation of Christmas

The Serbian Hermit Who Prefers to Be Alone

The research is pretty strong: People have better ideas when they interact with others. When people get together they often have collectively-owned ideas that no one person would have alone. This research is widely accepted by both psychologists, sociologists, and organization scholars. But there’s been a backlash, perhaps starting with Susan Cain’s 2013 book Quiet:… Read More The Serbian Hermit Who Prefers to Be Alone

The Social Networks of Emily Dickinson, Paul Gauguin, and Charlotte Bronte

I just read a fascinating article* by Professor Katherine Giuffre, of Colorado College, that asks the question: Do social networks contribute to creativity? Previous research is pretty compelling: social networks and collaboration contribute to greater creativity. But as Giuffre points out, no one has compared creative and non-creative periods during the lifetime of a single person. As… Read More The Social Networks of Emily Dickinson, Paul Gauguin, and Charlotte Bronte

Does Solitude Enhance Creativity? A Critique of Susan Cain’s Attack on Collaboration

I’ve just read a New York Times article by Susan Cain, author of the forthcoming book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s the frustrated cry of a true introvert. Cain is clearly tired of everyone touting the benefits of collaboration; some people, herself included, just want to be left alone. And,… Read More Does Solitude Enhance Creativity? A Critique of Susan Cain’s Attack on Collaboration