Continuing on the logic of “if you want to go fast, go alone – if you want to go far, go with others”, this week we are going to look into the interplay between individual and collaborative thinking with regards to creativity. In the current work culture, especially in the creative professions, we are equally expected to perform in groups and solo, so that balancing modes of thinking, has become an essential skill. When are we more creative then, in groups or alone? It is a tricky question, so let’s have a look at some references:

1 – So to start with, these are 7 offices designed to spark creativity. What do you think about their layouts regarding individual and collective spaces to think?

2 – A general look on how the group-versus-individual dynamic affects creativity, can be read in this article that weighs research supporting both sides.

3 – From these 10 ways to boost creativity at work, one considers the range of spaces available to an individual as a parameter of a creative mind, while another one emphasizes the the benefits from the interaction with co-workers based on the seating arrangments.

4 – “Collective” does not necessarily mean that everyone enjoys the same level of contribution in idea generation. Yet, a first-choice team does not only have just the top talents, but also those who work together the best. Basically, individual talent + good collaboration = success!

5 – This research examines the context-dependent nature of creative behavior which has shaped the structure of many innovative organizations, by focusing on the influence of three major factors: organisational norms, threat and gender.

6 – In this inspiring talk, Harvard professor Linda Hill, talks about the concept of collective creativity, and talks about how she came up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing.

7 – Shifting between group and individual thinking makes us the most creative! Finally, we got an answer to the initial question from this article by Judah Pollack and Olivia Fox Cabane.

So, do you have any ideas about how office design could accommodate for spaces to think together and spaces to find some solitude and think alone? We are thrilled to see them!

Till next time –