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The most creative people in the world are introverts, according to psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist, because they’re able to concentrate on the task at hand. This finding has huge implications for workplaces across America. In an article on the rise of the “New Groupthink” for The New York Times, Susan Cain reports that:
“Studies show that open-plan offices make workers hostile, insecure and distracted. They’re also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stress, the flu and exhaustion. And people whose work is interrupted make 50 per cent more mistakes and take twice as long to finish it.”
Cain looked at an interesting study, “Coding War Games” by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, which compared 600 computer programmers at 92 companies:
“They found that people from the same companies performed at roughly the same level — but that there was an enormous performance gap between organisations. What distinguished programmers at the top-performing companies wasn’t greater experience or better pay. It was how much privacy, personal workspace and freedom from interruption they enjoyed. 60-two per cent of the best performers said their workspace was sufficiently private compared with only 19 per cent of the worst performers.
This research supports the theory that brainstorming sessions are good, but only after individuals brainstorm ideas themselves first. This is in part because when we take a different position than a group, that activates an organ in the brain called the amygdala, which is associated with the fear of rejection.
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