Collaboration and Creativity in Healthcare: Can They Coexist?

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Innovation and Entrepreneurship,Transformational Leadership

A New York Times article, “The Rise of New Groupthink,” shares intriguing insights about the conditions that foster “creativity.” Contrary to popular belief, “brainstorming” sessions do not produce innovation. Shock!

Well, if you’re a creative person, you’re no so shocked.  Many of my clients who are creative and strategic thinkers know they need “alone time” to hammer out the outline for a strategic plan, a business concept or a white paper. From the article:

Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature.

This doesn’t mean groups and “groupthink” do not have a place.  What the author points out, using Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as a case study, is that the creative person still needs a “collaborator” or collaboration forum to spark an idea or get the idea to implementation.

The article is great food for thought for physician leaders who want to spark innovation in their organization.

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