Being productive is not enough in the digital economy. Creativity is key.
Thus we need to engender creativity by the incorporation of cultural diversity and isolation.
Very little is generated from a creative perspective when everyone in the room is like-minded. Cultural blind spots are minimised when multiple cultures are on the case.
But setting up your very own open plan United Nations / Benetton advert equivalent office isn’t going to work. People need privacy and time to generate the flow mind-set needed to induce creative thought. Like top athletes they need to block out the world for a period to induce a state of flow.
Having an office infrastructure that supports such isolation is thus key. The ability both technically and culturally to schedule ‘meetings with oneself’ will help.
An approach which does not require a project team of interior designers is to allow people to wear headphones so they can listen to flow-inducing music (Tibetan chants through to The Prodigy) whilst blocking out the world prior to any collaborative activities.
You can’t turn process cogs into creative geniuses, but you can create the conditions that might just turn that rare creative spark into a raging fire.
The perspectives in this post came from my reading of Business Reimagined by Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft.