In a recent BNET blog (5 Ways to Foster Innovation) Kimberly Weisul says that:
“Roy Chua, of Harvard, believes that creativity is not necessarily about coming up with something totally new. Instead, he says, “most often it is about connecting ideas to create something different. If you have a multicultural social network, you are more likely to receive ideas that are different.” Chua surveyed a group of media professionals about their social networks, and then asked each to brainstorm about the future of the newspaper industry. A group of outside judges ranked the ideas based on how creative they were, and it turned out those professionals with ore multicultural social networks came up with more creative ideas. Chua conducted a similar experiment with college students, surveying their social networks and asking them to come up with a new advertising campaign for a fruit drink. Those with more contact with different cultures came up with more creative ideas.”
Now we’ve heard before that moving to another country and becoming an expat encourages creativity just for the simple reason of being in a different environment and being exposed to new perspectives. By the same token, cross-cultural interactions and connections do the same job of exposing us to different perspectives and ideas. But what’s our role here and who do we have to be to actually become more creative?
There are a couple of traits I think are very useful in taking advantage of your cross-cultural ties when it comes to becoming more creative:
- Open-mindedness – if we are closed to new perspectives and ideas, no amount of them around us will help;
- Courage – new things can be scary and taking them on can be even scarier;
- Curiosity – digging deeper is part of adopting something new.
What do you think? What other traits can be helpful here?
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