This is a revised, updated, and expanded edition of a book first published in 2004, with a new preface by Teresa Amabile and a discussion guide that will help facilitate, indeed expedite application of Johansson’s valuable insights as to how and why breakthrough creativity happens at the Intersection of different fields, ideas, people, and cultures.
As he explains, the Intersection “becomes a place for wildly different ideas to bump into and build upon each other…The name I have given this phenomenon, The Medici Effect, comes from a remarkable burst of creativity in fifteenth century Italy.”
Intersectional collisions of ideas can occur almost any tine and anywhere, involving and engaging almost anyone in structured or spontaneous collaboration between and among “multiple fields, generating ideas that leap in new directions – what I call intersectional ideas.”
Those who were engaged in the Manhattan Project offer the best example I can think of. What they achieved together could only be done at an Intersection rather than within the field of nuclear physics or mathematics…or both.
Here are the methods to create a Medici Effect:
1. Draw inspiration from industries or cultures very different from your own
2. Hunt for Intersections
3. Put up an Intersection wall (i.e. display of possibilities)
4. Introduce/engage one or two outsiders in regular team meetings
5. Hold Intersection councils
6. Set up Intersection workrooms
7. Ensure diversity on your team and in organization
8. Map out your out background to bring your whole self to work
9. Atomize all of a word’s various meanings, contexts, and related words
10. Make Medici visits outside your enterprise
11. Set up micro-teams (i.e. fewer people in discussion modules)
12. Take an Intersectional journey (i.e. create a visual Intersection)
All this is thoroughly explained on Pages 211-217.
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The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation was published by Harvard Business Review Press (2004; March 2017).
To learn more about Frans and his brilliant work, please click here.