How breakthrough creativity happens at the intersection of different fields, ideas, people, and culture

In the Foreword to the revised and updated edition of Frans Johansson’s classic, The Medici Effect, Teresa Amiable discusses the concept of “intersectional creativity,” a process of collaboration that is ecumenical, multidisciplinary, multifunctional, and most important of all, open. Throughout history, the most creative teams — the Disney animators who created classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi, the scientists involved with the Manhattan Project, and the aeronautical engineers involved with Lockheed’s “Skunk Works” — have shared a culture that Johansson characterizes as the “Intersection.”

As he explains, Johansson wrote this book to achieve three objectives:

1. “The first is to explain what, exactly, the Intersection is and why we can expect to see a lot more of it in the future. You will see how three critical factors [i.e. The Movement of People, The Convergence of Science, and The Leap of Computation] are working together to increase the number of intersections around the world.”

2. “The second is to explain why stepping into the Intersection creates the Medici Effect. You will see why it is such h a vibrant place for creativity and how we can use the intersections to generate remarkable, surprising, and groundbreaking ideas.”

3. “Finally, the third objective is to outline the unique challenges we face when executing intersectional ideas and how we can overcome those challenges. You will see how execution at the Intersection is different from within established fields, and you will learn how to prepare for those differences.”

The revised and updated edition of The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation, was published by Harvard Business Review Press (March 2017).

To learn more about Frans Johansson and his work, please click here.

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