Friday, 9 February 2018

Procrastination and innovation

It's pretty counter-intuitive that procrastination and creativity are connected, right?
There is plenty of evidence however that by delaying completion of something, you end up with a better, perhaps more innovative, result.

Think of the process as a shape of a 'U'. Those that get right to it and come up with an idea really quickly (the big downward slope of the U) may miss ideas. Dwelling on concepts and applying considered design may result in other, better alternatives. Conversely, those that leave everything until the very last minute (the upward slope of the U) are likely to also miss opportunities that dwelling-on may offer.

It seems that those who quickly come up with one or two ideas, then think on them for a while, maybe try a few out (the Design Thinking process) and finally make a decision down the line, may come up with more innovative and successful solutions.

A similar phenomenon that we've all experienced is when faced with a tricky problem and we decide to 'sleep on it'.

Take a look at Tim Urban's very funny and illuminating TED Talk on being a master procrastinator and his 'instant gratification monkey'.

Adam grant also wrote a nice post in the New York Times 'Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate'

If you need an external stimulus to stop you procrastinating, try 
Stikk is a fee goal-setting app from behavioural economists at Yale. The idea is that you make a public goal, set the stakes or pledge, get a referee and add friends for support. I love the idea that some of the most successful pledges are apparently those that result in something you don't want to happen. For example, '$100 goes to the National Rifle Association if I don't meet my deadline' (assuming you don't support the NRA!). 

I've been  preparing for the KIN Spring Workshop on 22nd March at The Shard.'Reimagining the Innovative Organisation'. Adam Billing of Treehouse Innovation will be running an experiential exercise for us. This will be a fun interactive session that will use Design Thinking principles to stimulate ideas for innovative management practice. Treehouse have an app called Sprintbase that helps organisations systematically tackle tough challenges by including design thinking into problem solving.

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