Get the talents on board!


March 29, 2019

No innovation under time pressure, existential fear etc.

The widespread assumption that the best ideas come from time pressure is not true. Lack of time and deadlines are counterproductive to creativity and inspiration.

It is also not true that we use the parts of the brain responsible for logic when we try to find a solution to a problem. Rather, good strategists use the emotional and intuitive parts of their brain.

This scientific research, although still in its infancy, already provides us with some insight as to how the brain reacts in certain situations and how managers go about decision making.

Deadlines kill innovation!

The belief that deadlines increase focus and concentration, as well as shake off a certain inertia, is false. The latest findings show that deadlines cause quite the opposite. The urgency and increased stress levels limit our thinking and can lead to bad decisions being made.

Time pressure only causes parts of the brain associated with problem solving to be more strongly activated. Original ideas, however, arise from elsewhere and the activation of this creative part of the brain is shut off. There is also no space for thinking about other approaches to problems when under intense time pressure. And as we now know, it is this “thinking differently” that leads to innovation and good decisions.

Innovation only without existential fears!

It is not only time that limits our thinking and the resulting creativity/

Innovation and decision-making. Other stressful factors such as possible or impending job cuts and economic uncertainties affect us greatly. Our decision-making is influenced by our feelings, which in turn is shaped by impending events.

In recent times in our super VUCA world, “uncertainty” is not the exception but the rule and, as such, we should learn not to suppress or avoid it. We should learn to accept this “uncertainty” and use techniques in order to cope with it.


List of sources:

Richard Boyatzis, Prof. for Organisational Behaviour, case Western Reserve University

Srini Pillay, Prof. at the Harvard Medical School