Monday, March 31, 2014

The Need for Solitude and the Taming of Groupthink

Social has become more than a buzzword, but the baseline for every innovation that has changed our society in the last decade. If one were just to study the services being created and utilized, they would judge our culture has fear of being alone. The new Groupthink mentality we subscribe to has transformed not just our leisure time, but our work environment as well. Instead of walled off offices to call our own, we're being forced to interact in groups, using the meeting as a substitute for individual thought. Yet research is at odds with these tactics, showing that creativity, ingenuity and any real stroke of innovation is a byproduct of solitude. Psychologically, artists and scientists are proved to be of a similar mind, usually introverts. Logically, it makes sense. In a social setting, distractions escalate exponentially, whether by indirect social, or sexual behavioral changes we make around depending on the group. The mind alone is best suited to truly focus on a task at hand. And it is generally deep thought that produces innovation, not the immediate demands of a boardroom brainstorming session, but thorough analysis and ultimately, reinvention.
Organizations seem to be adopting the alternative at every turn, despite mounting evidence against it. Programmers from the best and worst companies were polled on the amount of privacy they are allotted and over 60% of the best ones were allowed freedom from group distractions. Advertising agencies in the 1950s originally brought the group brainstorming mentality into vogue, but scientific study has proved that all these sessions truly accomplish is parroting of others ideas, fear of rejection and overall decrease in both quality and quantity. It would seem working pieces of the puzzle independently and assembling them as a group would be the preferred method. And the best tool to this end is the Internet, the place where we can be alone, together. The autonomy of protection the screen offers gives us the respite from distraction that productive requires, yet allows us to stand on each other's shoulders and share ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment