When collaboration kills creativity

The production values on this animated video aren’t great but the ideas are. It’s not as one sided as it seems (all brainstorming is bad, everyone should work alone) and if you watch it to the end it makes some excellent observations and suggestions.

The judgement of groups stifling creativity stands out to me and it’s a leap but the piece I wrote a while ago on Flickr Explore (a social media popularity contest of sorts) stifling creativity comes to mind.

Acceptance by a group, popularity, and even normalcy are all social traits that our (Western) culture is tilted toward. When we evaluate social phenomena like these we need to make sure we have enough altitude to see a bigger picture than we normally see. This video is an attempt to look at this stuff from altitude.

2 thoughts on “When collaboration kills creativity

  1. Sanford Shapiro

    Richard,

    I may write more of a response another time…but…this is a really well done and needs to be shared and dissected/wrestled with in various professions, notably in education.

    I agree with you; it’s not like it’s all bad…brainstorming and collaboration, that is. I for one, have seen a few groups with such a high value on normalizing good feedback (without shaming) that it does engender the better of two worlds. There can be a time and place for both.

    On the other hand, though Jobs is not anyone’s example of how all things should be done between people, I always agreed that there are times in the creative process where the worst thing to do is to have a focus group.

    Great find Richard.

  2. Richard Post author

    I had a feeling you’d find it useful Sandy. Lots of meat in there, maybe under cooked but it’s there (sorry, had to use it).

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