Has Your Creativity Tanked?

By Don Goewey

What makes a person highly creative? It has a lot to do with how much two parts of our brain talk to one another. Researchers have found that when the logical, analytical, linear left hemisphere is in dialogue with the intuitive, imaginative, brainstorming right hemisphere, it predictably produces highly creative, yet practical outcomes. The greater the cross-talk, the greater the likelihood innovation will follow.

How do we get the two parts of our brain to talk to one another?

A study published in the prestigious journal Brain and Cognition (1) reports on an incredibly simple method researchers tested that appears to do the trick. In the study, sixty-two subjects performed a task that required creative thought. They were given one-minute to dream up as many alternate uses for everyday objects like newspapers, brinks, paper clips, pencils, and shoes.

After performing the task, researchers asked half of the subjects to move their eyes horizontally right to left for 30 seconds. The remaining subjects were instructed to stare straight ahead for 30 seconds. The researchers hypothesized that horizontal eye movement would stimulate cross-talk between the hemispheres. Why? Prior research has suggested that people who have one hand that is dominant, so-called “strong-handers”, have less cross-talk between their brain hemispheres compared with people who are ambidextrous or “mixed handed.”

Following the eye exercise, all the subjects performed the creativity exercise again. The results were astonishing. Subjects who’d performed the horizontal eye movements showed significant improvement in their creativity. They were more original and more prolific. In contrast, subjects who’d stared straight ahead showed no improvement in creativity. The beneficial effects of the eye movement exercise lasted nine minutes for originality and six minutes for variety. It’s just enough time to get you unstuck and begin to build a head of steam, if your creativity has been blocked.  Learn More »

I need a do-over please!

By Lakecia Carter, PMP

As a PM, have you ever done something that you felt bad about? Have you ever done something that you felt good about? I’m sure you answered “YES” to both of these questions. The common thread between both is that they are ‘do-over’ moments.  Sometimes you need a do-over when you’ve messed up – not to repeat the mistake, but to do it better the next time. Other times, you need a do-over when you’ve succeeded in something. In this case, you want to repeat success and also make it better. You see, a “do-over” moment is a win-win in the end. Here’s why: Learn More »

Put the “U” in Humor…

By Jeff Justice, CSP

John Cleese, a founding member of the British comedy troupe “Monty Python,” has produced employee training videos that use humor to get their messages across. He sees humor as a tool that increases openness to and retention of new information. Of course, he has to be on top of his creative game in order to be effective.

Several years ago, he was interviewed by Stephanie Armour, in USA Today, about how he can be funny and creative while also keeping his business head. His answers have been helpful to me and I hope they will be to you: Learn More »

Embrace Solitude

By Dr. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.

When do you come up with your most creative ideas? If you are like me, it is NOT when you are sitting in meetings or parked on conference calls.”  All this forced collaboration gives us little time to pause and reflect.

More likely, you are driving in the car, running on the treadmill,  spacing out in the shower or even awake in the middle of the night.

Learn More »

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