Some ideas occur in the office and others occur away from the office.
If you think of creativity as problem identification and idea generation, then it follows that problem identification and some of the more straightforward ideas will be generated in an office environment.
An office environment is also helpful in that, with goals, targets, people management and so on, it forces output, which produces better results than a "do your best" approach. There is a positive relationship between the quantity of ideas and quality.
However, richer and more complex ideas require the mind working on problems at various cognitive levels ? the process of incubation ? and are more likely to be produced without time pressure and when the mind is engaged in other tasks, which is why it is often said that good ideas are produced "out of the blue" and away from the office ? in the bath, walking across a zebra crossing and so on.
Creative Thinking is a process that, roughly, goes like this:
a) Identify the problem
b) Intensely investigate the problem
c) Separate creative from critical thinking ? use techniques to force out ideas
d) Seek stimuli
e) Constantly engage with the problem
f) Allow unconscious processes to take over through rest and engagement in unrelated activities
This illustrates that it is not the place that is most important, but the process.
This topic is covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com
Kal Bishop, MBA
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Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com