Creativity

Steered Serendipity and Creative Interactions for Remote Workers

The idea of designing office buildings for serendipity has been embraced for decades, especially in established and emerging technology hubs. Architects create designs that encourage employees to move through the space, with the hope of catalyzing impromptu interaction and serendipitous encounters.

The goal is to break down the silos and echo chambers of the old-line office environs in favor of a more vibrant and collaborative workspace. These workspaces are characterized by architectural elements such as expansive atriums, informal gathering spaces, reconfigurable walls, community cafes, and outdoor working patios.

Now, however, many of these gleaming engines of workaday serendipity sit empty. Hollow husks awaiting the return of their former occupants, most of whom were pressed into remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality, though, is that many of these people will not return. At least not full time, or in full force. Remote work is here to stay.

Use Your Beginner’s Mind to Open Your Prepared Mind

In 1973, 27-year-old Vernon Hill decided to start a bank. He launched a single, nine-employee branch on a highway in southern New Jersey. Vernon didn’t call it a “bank” or a “branch,” though. He called it a “store.”

Although he had worked afternoons at a bank while an undergrad at Penn’s Wharton School, Hill’s professional experience was primarily in real estate and fast-food retail. He scouted and developed sites for chains such as McDonald’s, CVS, and Jiffy Lube, and had an ownership stake in dozens of Burger King restaurants.

As a relatively inexperienced newcomer to the world of banking, though, Hill was able to cast aside many of the preconceptions people had about how banking ought to be done.

SCAMPER Toward More Creative and Innovative Thinking

In the 1930s, one of Linus Pauling’s graduate students asked Dr. Pauling how he managed to have so many good ideas.

Pauling replied that he just had a lot of ideas, then threw away the bad ones.

Really, Pauling would later explain when recounting this exchange, having good ideas is just a matter of having a large number of ideas, and then applying some selection principle to the whole lot so that the only ideas left are good ones.

Well, sure, that’s easy for Linus Pauling to say.

Cognition, Opportunity, and Learning a New Language

English has a wider global reach than any language in history.

It has become the world’s lingua franca in a range of domains, including business, politics, science, technology, academia, and entertainment.

On top of that, real-time language translation technology continues to get faster and more accurate.

Why, then, would a native English speaker in today’s world want or need to learn another language?

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