Guest AuthorPavan Soni
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Inflexion Point, October 2022

By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist

I am delighted to share with you that my book, Design Your Thinking, has sold over 10,000 copies worldwide. I have created a resource centre for the book, www.DesignYourThinking.in. It features relevant videos, articles, case studies and reviews. Hope you get to read the book and find it insightful. 

In this edition of Inflexion Point, we look at how strong muscles lead to healthy brains, if diversity really enables creativity, the impact of music on creativity, means of measuring creativity, and one true indicator of being creative.
Hope you find it useful. Kindly reflect and share. 
Dr. Pavan Soni

Innovation Evangelist and Founder, Inflexion Point Consulting
Author of Design Your Thinking (Penguin, 2020)
 
One’s muscular health can shape up the brain’s health. When we exercise our large skeletal muscles it releases Myokines and when they reach the brain they regulate physiological and metabolic responses there. These myokines have the ability to affect cognition, mood, and emotional behavior. The muscle-brain “cross talk” results in formation of new neurons and increased synaptic plasticity, both of which boost learning and memory. So, a fit body homes a creative mind. (Source: MIT Tech Review)
 
While we intuitively understand that diversity is useful for an organization, however, its impact on creativity is mixed. A meta-analysis of 108 studies and more than 10,000 teams suggests that diversity confers an advantage in generating a wider range of original and useful ideas, but the selection and implementation of ideas suffer as diversity hinders consensus. But such deficiencies can be mitigated with effective leadership styles that balance individual urge with team’s good. Further, research suggests that a moderate degree of diversity is more beneficial than a higher dose, and a deep-level diversity, beyond demographics, makes more sense. (Source: HBR)
 
The research on music’s effect on one’s creativity is mixed, at best. The science on music suggests that happy music—defined as classical tunes that are upbeat and stimulating—help people perform better on tasks involving divergent thinking. Music can further lower anxiety and improve mood, facilitating creative insights. However, depending on the stage of creativity, music can have disparate effects. In the first stage of ‘concentrating’ on the problem, music may not be helpful, but in the second stage of ‘incubation’, music helps generate new connections, hence aiding creativity. (Source: Time)
 
Measuring creativity is a thorny issue, as creativity may mean different things in different contexts. The three main ways of measuring creativity are: the creativity quotient (CQ), psychometrics, and the social-personality approach. Divergent thinking tests are a good model for measuring CQ. The Creative Achievement Questionnaire (CAQ) is another useful method based on psychometric evaluation. The social-personality tests look at traits like risk-taking, aesthetic orientation and attitudes, interest in complexity, confidence and independence of judgement to gauge creativity. However, no test seems to be complete. (Source: Psychreg)
 
If there is one characteristic trait of a creative type what would that be? I would pick up- being a T-shaped personality. One with a commendable depth or expertise in a chosen domain coupled with a breadth of perspectives across disciplines. The depth offers an ability to understand the problem while the breadth provides necessary stimulus for fresh ideas. Also, to understand that you get paid for your depth but get promoted for your breath. However, it’s more effortful to develop breadth than depth, as the returns are deferred and uncertain, and the avenues aren’t obvious. (Source: Youtube)  
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