Charles Duhigg on Encouraging Innovation

In Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg observes, “Productivity is the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort. It’s a process of learning how to succeed. It’s about getting things done without sacrificing everything we care about along the way…This book is the result of my investigations into how productivity works, and why some people and companies get so much more done than everyone else.”

Here are several of his thoughts about how to encourage innovative thinking:

“Creativity often emerges by combining old ideas in new ways — and ‘innovation brokers’ are the key. To become a broker yourself and encourage brokerage within your organization:

o Be sensitive to your own experiences. Paying attention to what makes you think and feel is how we distinguish clichés from real insights. Study your own emotional reactions.

o Recognize that the stress that emerges amid the creative process isn’t a sign everything is falling apart. Rather, creative desperation os often critical: Anxiety can often be what pushes us to see old ideas in new ways.

o Finally, remember that the relief accompanying a creative breakthrough, while sweet, can also blind us to alternatives. By forcing ourselves to critique what we’ve already done, by making ourselves look at it from different perspectives, by giving new authority to someone who didn’t have it before, we retain [or regain] clear eyes.”

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) once said that he spent all of his adult life struggling to see the world again as he once did as a child.

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In his own words, “My name is Charles Duhigg. I’m the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation in our lives, companies and societies, and Smarter Faster Better, about the science of productivity.

“I was a reporter at the New York Times for a decade, writing such series as “The iEconomy” which focused on Apple and won a Pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting in 2013. Before that, I contributed to other series, including “Golden Opportunities,” “The Reckoning,” and “Toxic Waters.” Today, I write books and magazine articles for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and The Atlantic.”

To learn more about him and his brilliant work, please click here,

Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity was published by Random House (2016).

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