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Is Creativity Best Fostered Alone, in Pairs, or in Groups?

Collaborative teams spark the most powerful creativity. So Walter Isaacson tells us, repeatedly, in The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. The power of teams was true in any form, whether it was like minds coming together through common interest, such as MIT’s legendary Tech Model Railroad Club; government-funded corporate research […]

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When Great Inventors Encourage Future Innovators

I knew when attending the White House ceremony for the latest class of National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) winners a week before Thanksgiving that I would have to blog on the experience. A logical narrative line to craft would have been the dramatic overlap in creative approaches pursued by NMTI awardees and the varied […]

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7 Signs You Have a Creative Brain

What is it that sets a creative thinker apart from the everyday individual? My obsession with that question led me to drive across the United States so I could interview artists about their creativity; that in turn led to my forthcoming memoir. But Dr. Nancy Andreasen’s obsession far predates mine. Armed with a PhD in […]

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5 Creativity Lessons from Hall of Fame Inventors

What are some secrets of truly creative thinking? Who better to ask than Hall of Fame inventors? That’s exactly what I did last month when I was able to speak with several 2014 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, or NIHF, as well as past inductees. As I wrote back in April, NIHF […]

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More Creatives With Multiple Talents

She is best known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” but the late silver screen star Hedy Lamarr is remembered in some circles more for the inventive genius she brought to wireless communications, decades before its time. Lamarr was an immigrant from pre-World War II Austria. She left behind a life that had […]

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Separating Curiosity from Creativity

Can you be creative without being curious? I find myself curious to learn the answer to this question. On some level it seems like asking if you can enjoy peanut butter without peanuts. Loads of creativity scholars tell us that curiosity is what drives creativity. But what if forces in our lives reduce our level […]

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The Linguistic Legacies of Technological Change

It is an annual obsession of ours: What new technological words have been added to the dictionary? When did “email” make it in? How about “tweet”? Of course, making the dictionary may insure a word immortality, but it doesn’t guarantee continued cultural dominance. I use the word “fax” nowadays about as much as I say “defenestration.” (Saying […]

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Do You Want a Netflix for Books?

The Wall Street Journal headline on Tuesday caught my eye: “Publishing Hears Echoes of Netflix Business Model: Digital Startups Prepare to Offer E-Book Subscription Services.” What could this mean? Are we moving to an all-you-can-eat world of books? I imagined myself following the binge model of TV viewing popular now with series like Netflix’s original House […]

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Is Creative Genius Inherent or Learned?

Is creative genius a gift that only some people are lucky enough to have, or can we all remake ourselves into creative geniuses? For the word genius to have any meaning, it must denote something special. And as Dash told his mother in The Incredibles, if everyone is special, that’s “another way of saying no […]

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Is Solo Creativity Really Dead?

Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity. The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf […]

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