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Creative inspiration: your best creative years and Google’s 8 pillars


We are all born with the ability to be creative; what we do with that ability is up to us. In this modern culture of innovation and breaking barriers the pressure is on and many of us feel like a failure if we haven’t made significant progress by the time we hit 30. However, Olga Khazon puts our minds at ease in her article Why major creative breakthroughs happen in your late thirties.

The article in Quartz discusses how creative breakthroughs are typically made in our late 30s, which could possibly be due to the fact that we have significantly more to learn, with more information available to us than inventors and creatives from before the industrial revolution. But Olga makes one key clarification: ‘Genius, it seems, happens when a seasoned mind sees a problem with fresh eyes.’

Susan Wojcicki from Google has given an insight into the company’s approach to keeping up with the competition, in The Eight Pillars of Innovation. She discusses the necessity to encourage an environment of innovation. The 8 Pillars are:

1. Have a mission that matters
2. Think big but start small
3. Strive for continual innovation, not instant perfection
4. Look for ideas everywhere
5. Share everything
6. Spark with imagination, fuel with data
7. Be a platform
8. Never fail to fail

Erin Meyer’s article in the Harvard Business Review offers an interesting take on the way we express criticism to colleagues and business associates and the misinterpretations that can result from language barriers. The aptly named How To Say “This Is Crap” In Different Cultures discusses how some countries approach criticism with an honest and upfront explanation, while others prefer to sugar-coat it. In an environment where progression is essential, clear guidance on where we are going wrong shouldn’t be taken for granted, so Erin Meyer’s insights could be very helpful to a lot of us.

Jason Freedman from The Next Web tackles an issue that we’ve all worried about at one point in time; three little words – “I don’t know”. Whether you are in an interview, a business meeting or networking, confessing ignorance somehow feels like admitting defeat, but Freedman explains that sometimes this honesty is much more impressive than feigning knowledge of all topics. ‘I don’t know’: Why admitting you don’t have all the answers is perfectly okay is both a comforting and enlightening article.

Adam Pasick has written the helpful The complete guide to listening to music at work, which goes into the nitty-gritty of how the brain functions when listening to certain genres of music at work. As you might expect, he recommends music without lyrics to reduce the amount of distraction caused by vocals, but he also discusses the types of work that are most suited to musical accompaniment, such as data entry.

Five more things we enjoyed reading recently:

Xerox PARC’s John Seely Brown on how to hire creative people
You can’t always trust the experts
Want to work at MI6? Take the quiz
Is creativity male dominated?
The neuroscience of decision-making explained in 30 seconds

Photo Credit: qwrrty via Compfight cc

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