On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Tag Archives: Creativity
The combination of art and functionality that architecture displays is a direct reflection of the complexity of the field. From sketching schematic designs to determining a building’s spatial form, architects have a diverse and challenging profession. People that have been successful in the specific role require patience, diligence, and originality; these are all qualities that anyone in the creative industry might aspire to learn more about. To help creatives of all kinds learn from architects, here’s a list of expert advice from famous architects across the globe.
With jobs that require creativity and juggling various projects, it’s normal to have days where you don’t feel your creative juices flowing. A common piece of advice circulating the quotes was to write out your ideas and stick to them, regardless of external influences. While others may try to set a limit on the endless possibilities that you can achieve, that shouldn’t be the path you take for yourself. With this idea in mind, here are some of the notable architects mentioned along with the advice they offer.
Frank Lloyd Wright shared that no matter how big or small the project is, your work is important.
Sharon Davis explained that her creative journey was risky and different, but in the end, that aspect could’ve been the reason for its success.
Alberto Campo Baeza focused on the entirety of the project instead of the little mistakes throughout.
Zaha Hadid believed that thinking outside of the box without following the guidelines sometimes is necessary in a creative world.
David Chipperfield stated that if you delegate a large portion of time on something, it’ll result in success no matter what.
Just like all other forms of art, architects have designed pieces that help establish cultural trends from around the globe. Specifically, architects create buildings and landscapes that millions of people see or enter every day. Whether you are creative at work or at home, there is an appreciation for art in all forms and the innovation behind the projects. The quotes below from the well-known architects can serve as inspiration for your next creative endeavor. Read more of this post
A look at the history of the office reveals that office space configurations have changed considerably over time. Naturally, different space configurations impact workers differently (and of course, at the individual level, the manner in which physical space impacts people depends on the individual’s personality, job, and tasks the individual performs). More specifically, environmental space can positively or negatively impact attention spans, productivity, creativity, job satisfaction, and stress level.
University of Southern California, Dornsife, designed an infographic that expands upon this subject. Personally, I find myself agreeing with this assessment of the complete open office plan. However, I doubt that this phenomena, along with cubicles and private offices, will become extinct. A reduction? Yes. However, the complete absence of such configurations? No.
Not only do companies and work cultures vary, but there’s also great heterogeneity when it comes to people, the roles they play at work, and the types of tasks they perform. So, I think that there will always be a need for a variety of office configurations even if some configurations are more prevalent than others. For example, those who deal with sensitive information and interactions (like lawyers, doctors, and therapists) will continue to need a private office. This infographic is surely thought-provoking. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Here’s to the lazy ones. The slackers. The flaky. The unconscientious. The bumps on a log. The ones who cut corners. They’re not fond of duty…
For those who aren’t aware, the title of this post is stylized after Apple Inc.’s “Think Different” (a/k/a “Crazy Ones”) advertising campaign quote. However, this isn’t a satirical piece but, instead, an exercise in challenging conventional wisdom. While conscientiousness, a Big 5 personality trait, is often cited as the single best predictor of career success, it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t naturally well-endowed with it. The catch is that you must possess some other extraordinary quality that is rewarded in the context of your work situation. I believe that General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord would agree as he stated back in 1933:
I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!
What better way to illustrate how experience of a stimulus (held constant) is shaped by environmental factors than to examine how our experience of food changes according to the ambiance of the dining area? Check out the findings in Eating in a cafeteria makes food taste worse. Even when factoring out the possibility of particular odors in the environment impacting the taste of food, visual information remains an important factor as many of us know intuitively. Our interpretation of this visual information transforms our experience. Some examples from common knowledge: Read more of this post
Everywhere I look, various experts are heralding the benefits of group work over solo, independent work. Insisting on working alone is selfish they say. Collaboration fosters more creativity than solo work they say. It’s one thing to be describing the work style that brings out the best for the bulk of the “bell curve,” however if there’s one valuable lesson to learn from decades of studying psychology it’s that, when it comes to people, it’s impossible to generalize about a great, many things. Still worse is to subject the people who don’t fit to the “tyranny of the majority.”
So here I am working alone, independently on my blog and other creative writing, art, and musical side projects. I’m blissfully happy. Life seems great. Everything seems alright with the world. And yes, any creative inspiration that has struck me may owe its existence to the synergy of ideas I’ve gained in past encounters with people, films I’ve watched, and books I’ve read. However, I am producing my work now alone, on my own and it feels great. So the last thing I wish to witness is a mass movement that pushes one style of working (group work) over another (solo work).
Those of you who know what it’s like to be a “misfit” in one way or another, I think, can appreciate how statements about working “this way” or “that way” is better for everyone are ill-thought out. To maximize productivity and creativity across a whole society, it would be ideal to maximize freedom for everyone to work in the way that suits each person best. If you are most productive and creative while working in a more collaborative manner… great! If someone else is most productive and creative while working alone… great! Different strokes for different folks. The Industrial Age is characterized by standardized, one-size-fits-all work policies. Here’s hoping that the push towards group work with the simultaneous denouncement of solo work goes the way of the Industrial Age as well.
To my relief, I’m not alone in my leaning towards working alone. In this post, Patrick Ross makes a powerful argument about not making this an either-or situation. While celebrating the ways in which today’s digital tools foster collaboration, it’s not necessary or even desirable to denounce solo, independent work. As it turns out, many writers and artists would agree.
- Should Collaboration be King? (sherrylangland.com)
By the way, if you are interested in optimizing collaboration, the next Better Collaboration online Meetup, takes place on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2:30-4:00 pm EST (11:30-1:00 pm PST): Innovating the way dispersed teams collaborate!
Featured speaker in this event will be Paul Brody, CEO and Co-Founder of Sococo. Sococo is an innovative tool for fostering impromptu collaboration without having to physically be at the same place. Everyone can see who is around and, with one click, can immediately start a conversation or meeting (voice, video, chat, multiple screen shares).
These educational video conference series are geared towards organizational leaders wishing to learn more about improving collaboration and productivity through the use of online tools. Visit the Better Collaboration website or register here at on the Better Collaboration meetup page!
Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity.
The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf capitalism.” For years now digital utopians have first insisted that we all believe in a myth that creativity and innovation comes from solitary thinkers; then they knock down their straw man by pointing to the power of collaboration. Citing the Firefox browser (volunteers maintain and upgrade it) and Facebook (the content comes from us, not Mark Zuckerberg), Neal Gabler wrote this: “In our global, networked economy, the lone wolf is rapidly becoming an anachronism, one that threatens to impede innovation rather than fostering it.”
Perhaps I’m sensitive to the suggestion that…
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Introverts like myself heave a huge sigh of relief upon reading Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. In the chapter titled, “When Collaboration Kills Creativity,” Cain explains the origins of this recent, increased call for in-office collaboration and presents compelling research studies that run counter to the assumptions and reasons behind the move towards the open office plan and the usually, taken for granted requirement for employees to work collaboratively in teams. Yes, I’ve always loathed projects that required teamwork in school and, although I can’t speak for everyone, I’ll say that I’ve always come up with creative ideas on my own while group brainstorming always inhibited idea generation. Read more of this post