Where to Go to Get Your Your Best Ideas

 In Expert Tips & Info

Harsh fluorescent lighting and your cubicle mate’s bitter diatribe about your boss are not the makings for creative thinking, according to the results of a new analysis. Rather, business leaders come up with their best and brightest ideas in a more natural, a stress-free environment.

Land Rover, organizational psychologist Sir Cary Cooper, and the Institute of Directors teamed up to question more than 900 directors, CEOs, and high-level managers how they do their best creative thinking. Almost all—84 percent—of those senior executives believe environment is the most important factor in enabling creative thought. The researchers found that the very best creative environments should contain these vital psychological and physical factors:


1. Comfort: 64 percent of business leaders report they must be physically comfortable to get their intellectually creative juices flowing.

2. Time to think: Interruptions just won’t do. When it comes to developing ideas, 61 percent of the highest-ups need time dedicated time to think.

3. A lack of stress: 41 percent of business leaders say stress slows—or stops—their creative process from happening.

4. Plush seating: Be gone, butt cramps! 36 percent of companies’ top men and women need to sit in a comfortable chair or other seat while brainstorming.

5. The absence of noise: A chatty coworker or blaring Spotify station could keep CEOs from being creative. 27 percent report they need silence for inspiration to strike.

6. Natural lighting: A quarter of business leaders say that natural lighting aids their ability to develop new ideas.

7. Fresh air: Breathing in clean, unpolluted air helps 41 percent of higher-ups come up with their best ideas.

8. Spacious digs: Business leaders don’t do their best thinking confined to four small walls. 18 percent need to feel they’re in a spacious place to develop their ideas.

9. Natural materials: If your fiberboard work surface isn’t working for you, it doesn’t work for your senior-level officers, either. 5 percent say they need natural materials—think: wood and leather—to spark their creativity.

So, unsurprisingly, these executives reported the most effective place for them to be creative is their homes. “Creative thoughts will often come to us at a time when we least expect them—when we are relaxed or not thinking about a problem,” Cooper said in the report. “Experiments have shown that when dopamine is released into our brains from habitual or instinctive distractions … we are more able to allow our brains to be creative.” 30 Minute Free Professional Coaching.

By Jillian Kramer

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