An article caught my eye recently which reports on the findings of an earlier research report into the link between bodily experience and creative cognition. It has long been held that the way we think and perceive things is affected by our physicality; training has embodied this by moving people around (changing their physicality) during exercises, using toys to create tactile experience whilst thinking etc.
This research takes this a stage further and sought to discover, amongst other things whether thinking outside the box was stronger than a mere metaphor. Could creative thinking be constrained by physical
constraints (in this case a box), and enhanced by the removal of that constraint.
So, one of the experiments undertaken placed students doing identical creative tasks situated “inside” a large cardboard box, “outside” the same large cardboard box and another control group who knew nothing about the box (box-less). The findings were significant, in that the “outside” group scored 20 better in creative output than either of the other groups. The same results were observed when the students were compared walking in a confined area or walking free – the latter scored significantly better.
Find out more about the research at http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/02/29/147646374/thinking-outside-the-box-with-our-bodies-and-our-brains
So, just maybe physical environmental improvements and location changes can make a significant difference and impact the bottom line. Maybe taking team meetings off-site or even out-doors would result in significantly more creative solutions to hard-to-crack problems. So what could you do differently? – Now, that requires some serious thinking outside the box………