The Deviant Approach to Creativity
Take a look around your office—what do you see? The traditional mix of memorabilia, photos from company golf tournaments and perhaps a few mementos from some recent successful product launches?
But you probably don't have a poster of the Sex Pistols above your desk. And Amantha Imber of Inventium says its deviant imagery, or something of similar shock value, might be just what you need for optimum brainstorming.
Imber points to a Jens Forster study that looked at deviance and creativity. "[They] hypothesized that objects or pictures that relate to the concept of deviance in some way, such as a photograph of punk rockers, are likely to promote divergent thinking," says Imber. The research team divided participants into two groups and tasked each with devising uses for a brick while looking at posters of the letter X repeated in a four-by-four matrix. For the first group, each of the 16 Xs was the same color; for the second group, one X had a different hue from the other 15. The second group, staring at their deviant X, produced more ideas and exhibited a higher degree of creativity.
In the event your CEO or clients object to radical office décor, Imber recommends meditating on events from your rebellious past to stir up inspiration. "Thinking about one's deviant history is a great way to get the brain geared up for some creative thinking," she says.
Your Marketing Inspiration: Concentrating on a deviant image or memory may help activate unconscious thoughts that lead to good ideas, and more of them.
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