Awhile back I read someone’s opinion (backed up by his research) that people aren’t more creative in groups. He suggested that, if companies are wanting to get their money’s worth out of an employee, they’d be better off having the employee hang out by him or herself in the office.
This was one of those references that I didn’t imagine going back to. I figured I’d just disregard it, so I can’t link you to the person who wrote it. I’ve mused about that idea since then, though, wondered how in the world someone could have drawn that conclusion. I have such the opposite experience. I can sit and create and quite enjoy myself, but it’s when I hang out with other people that I go way beyond where I began.
It’s one of the biggest pleasures of my life, to co-create with others. Katie Hendricks’ tool of “Tossing”ideas back and forth allows for each person to take the last iteration of an idea and then add her or his own spin, then toss it back. An idea spins and whirls around and does a back flip, until it’s almost unrecognizable. That process is completely exhilarating for me, as I watch creation unfold, with details I never would have imagined. Sometimes I feel like a kid in a toy factory, clapping my hands with glee at the unexpected new toy that appears at the end of the assembly line.
Is it possible that there is a gender difference here? Those with whom I co-create are generally women–is this a process that is easier for women because of our increased value on connection? Is it harder for men to create together in groups because of a bigger emphasis on competition?
What do you think?