I love David Lynch’s view on being open to ideas. I’m reminded of an interview I heard where a writer recounted that he lived upwind from a more successful author – and he liked to keep the windows open in the hope to catch passing ideas before ‘that bugger got them’.
I totally love (and belive in) this:
Asked about where he gets the big ideas of his campaigns, he replied that “big ideas in all fields come from only one place: the unconscious. Nobody’s ever had a big idea by a process of rational thought.” He described his process of digesting as much research material as possible, followed by “a good dinner and a bottle of claret, and then I got the idea from my unconscious. I won’t say I was totally unconscious after the claret, but I wasn’t at my best — except my unconscious mind was working and sent a telegram to my conscious mind.”
Ray Bradbury on the power of intuition
I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway.
If you’re wondering whether you’re in the right role, watch this fantastic talk
I’m not the biggest fan of Ted talks, but this one struck a chord. It reminded me of this classic John Cleese talk on creativity as it is discusses how to get in the right frame of mind to be productive. People can’t be truly creative on demand, and the distractions inherent in a busy office are actively destructive to being in a flow state.
That said, the traditional, bustling workplace has a vital place (as Yahoo knows). Working relationships have to be build on physical proximity and serendipity. Nothing beats sorting out a tricky issue over coffee or finding out accidentally that you and a colleague share a common interest.
But businesses would do well to acknowledge that presenteeism is not a virtue. Hours in do not equal work out. Let’s give trusted employees clear tasks and objectives, and let them deliver them in the way that works best for them. Because that will also mean it’s the best way for the business.