Every month Tracking Wonder brings you some of the best articles from across the web that have stopped us in our tracks or given us pause to think and consider perspectives in creativity, brand, and innovation.
This month we’ll look at getting in the creative zone, the importance of company culture, and the psychology behind picking color for your brand.
With help from Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros, I’ve gathered and curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence – all via storytelling, brand, and innovation.
Why Zoning Out Makes Us More Creative – Inc.com
Social interaction, according to a recent study published by Applied Cognitive Psychology, inhibits creative thinking. The research also points to companies who have it all wrong when they try to encourage interaction, creativity, and collaboration with open-plan workspaces, says Geoffrey James of Inc.com. Individuals working alone, in fact, are the more creative contributors in a company. Interruptions, noise pollution, and visual distractions all work against innovative thinking. How to combat that? Seek out silence and idleness. It is through those states that intense focus is achieved, and that’s prime for creative thinking.
Geoffrey James @sales_source
Developing an authentic company culture around philanthropy and good works indirectly drives growth but directly inspires employees. When employees believe in their company’s mission and value, they have a deeper level of respect for their company, says Brian Rashid of Forbes. Social giving not only drives creativity in business leaders, but also inspires hard-working employees who believe in their organization. Lastly, doing social good establishes businesses in communities where there is opportunity for more public trust, awareness, and brand establishment.
Brian Rashid @mrbrianrashid
Writing and Sketching are Probably Not Essential for Creative Flow – Psychology Today
From the very beginning, we were told to write down all of our ideas in order to get to the best one, the one that we eventually expand upon. Researchers from England and Scotland who studied the role of sketching in creative flow, writes Wilma Koustaal, Ph.D., discovered that there is only patchy evidence to support this idea. In studying 88 undergraduate students, researchers used the student’s drawing assignments to assess “transformational complexity.” The group that produced visually-planned drawings (no sketching) yielded more valid sketches than the group who was allowed to sketch and plan. Essentially, sketching can be helpful on the way to a resolution, but it’s not the only route.
Wilma Koutstaal, Ph.D.
All Work And No Playfulness Inhibits Innovation, The Creativity Post
One of the most critical characteristics in innovative types is playfulness, writes Dr. KH Kim. Playfulness, at its core, represents exploration, a sense of humor, and thinking flexibly. Pure logic only goes so far in helping problem solvers arrive at answers. Playfulness comes in to overcome those creative blocks and cultivate a psychologically safe environment for the exchange of new and exciting ideas, even if they’re out of the box. Some tips for stimulating playfulness each day: share funny stories, keep mistakes and failures in context and perspective, and make others laugh by telling jokes.
KH Kim, Ph.D. @kreativity_kim
Connectedness, determined by the brain’s limbic system, is what brands are banking on these days. Even with a product or service that’s perhaps just average, branding and marketing aims for an audience’s emotions, and that’s what makes them strong brands. Writer Heather Pinay references Seth Godin’s triune brain theory as it relates to how the limbic system forms connections with brands: the lizard brain, the mammal brain and the human brain. Respectively, these are the parts of the brain that represent life-sustaining needs, emotional needs and abstract needs (critical thinking, metaphorical thinking, etc.). Pinay encourages brands to embrace all three facets while developing connections with an audience.
Heather Pinay @heatherpinay
How To Apply Color Psychology To Your Business – Skilled.co
The notion that color influences decision making is not new. However, research on how consumers interact with color is constantly being redefined as brands attempt new and innovative tactics to message consumers, writes Kintan for Skilled.co. Though this infographic is geared toward increasing website conversions, its information is widely applicable across many platforms, generations and genres of consumers. From gender and budget of the consumer to CTA (call to action) and navigation button colors, this is an invaluable reference for designers and business leaders alike.
When Your Productivity Needs a Boost – Inc.com
Practices for improving clarity, insight and creative thinking, writes Marcel Schwantes, boils down to a few backed-by-research basics. First, planting yourself in new environments forces your brain to reorganize perception, thereby invoking imagination. Second, letting go of intense focus to willingly daydream increases right-brained thinking (this principle explains the epiphanies we’ve all had in the shower at some point). Third, giving employees freedom of intention to do what they please with work hours encourages better time management per their pace and stimulates innovative problem-solving as well.
Marcel Schwantes @marcelschwantes
The Key to Creativity? Observation – The Association for Psychological Science
Researchers at The University of Amsterdam conducted studies in mindfulness and observation as they relate to creativity and flexible thinking to find out what connection exists between the two. They first did tests to determine intelligence, then they tested how factors like observation and description affect creativity. After two more studies, researchers gathered that robust observational skills are correlated to higher levels of creativity. Though it requires more research, writes Sandesh Devadiga, the findings have exciting implications for businesses and organizations who seek more creativity from their employees.