Smarter Faster Better Innovation

Recognize that the panic and stress you feel as you try to create isn’t a sign that everything is falling apart. Rather, it’s the condition that helps make us flexible enough to seize something new.
— "Smarter Faster Better" by Charles Duhigg

When I was in college, my creative process included research, procrastination and tears before a breakthrough. I've since refined my process.

Even so, even now I'll find myself deeply invested in a project and unable to break through -  deadlines looming closer and panic rising. I've always blamed it on perfectionist tendencies - my personal battle.

My husband recently heard a keynote address by Charles Duhigg, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the New York Times and author of "Smarter Faster Better." He brought home a copy of the book, and the innovation chapter kept me up last night.

There were the interesting making-of stories for West Side Story and Frozen. And there was a description of Joseph Connell's research into biodiversity. Turns out if a tree falls in the forest, regardless of who hears it, the gap it leaves allows light to come in and species to compete. In other words, "nature's creative capacities depended on some kind of periodic disturbance."

What does this have to do with you? This. Desperation - creative desperation - can be the disturbance - the condition we need to draw new connections and reach new solutions. 

"Smarter Faster Better" urges us to embrace the creative pain to improve your creative problem solving. It's better than crying about it. 



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