Author and journalist, Greg Lindsay recently published an interesting analysis on serendipity and whether it can be engineered at work to spark creativity. He says, “Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation?” He refers to recent moves by Yahoo and Google to restructure their offices with people and teamwork in mind:
As Yahoo and Google see it, serendipity is largely a byproduct of social networks. Close-knit teams do well at tackling the challenges in front of them, but lack the connections to spot complementary ideas elsewhere in the company… And we get a particular intellectual charge from sharing ideas in person. In a paper published last year, researchers at Arizona State University used sensors and surveys to study creativity within teams. Participants felt most creative on days spent in motion meeting people, not working for long stretches at their desks.
The way we think of work is changing, as evidenced by our shifting work environments. This is just the latest example of why we believe there’s never been a better time to start engineering a bit of “serendipity” in your own life, at work and beyond. Read Lindsay’s full article in the New York Times to learn about ways researchers are engineering serendipity for offices of the future.
Where do your best ideas come to you?
[Top image was accidentally exposed three times by People vs. Places]