Giving ourselves space to create

There are lots of reasons why letting people blog behind (or in front of) the firewall is a good idea, but one of the key benefits to blogging is how easy it makes thoughtfulness and creativity.

In his blog post Stress, creativity and confabulation, Johnnie Moore shares some of the insights he’s gleaned from Keith Sawyer’s book, Group Genius:

Keith’s work also emphasises how we deceive ourselves about leaps of insight, assigning credit for apparently sudden bursts of insight to a variety of causes. Closer examination shows that our minds actually build towards ideas in a process of slow, often unconscious, accretion.

Blogging is one of those ways that we can accrete the little thoughts we need to help us come up with the crucial ideas we need to do our jobs better. It also allows us to share our ideas with our peers who can add their own extensions and refinements, growing our kernel into something bigger and better. Blogging makes explicit the natural idea formation process and through that makes the process itself as valuable as the end product.

It’s not true that we are more creative under pressure, or that big ideas come from flashes of insight, or that the lone genius is only one capable of great invention. Just as its a myth that art requires madness, so it is a myth that creativity needs pinpoint moments of brilliance. Better to provide people with the space and time to participate in an ongoing process of creativity than try to coral it in a brainstorming session.