Creativity is more likely to occur when people are positive and buoyant

According to Helen Phillips

In a decade-long study of real businesses, to be published soon, Amabile found that positive moods relate positively to creativity in organisations, and that the relationship is a simple linear one. Creative thought also improves people’s moods, her team found, so the process is circular. Time pressures, financial pressures and hard-earned bonus schemes on the other hand, do not boost workplace creativity: internal motivation, not coercion, produces the best work.

Another often forgotten aspect of creativity is social. Vera John-Steiner of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and author of Creative Collaboration (Oxford University Press, 2000) says that to be really creative you need strong social networks and trusting relationships, not just active neural networks. One vital characteristic of a highly creative person, she says, is that they have at least one other person in their life who doesn’t think they are completely nuts.

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