Introverted (2)

Recently finished the great book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. It is a great book and I thought I’d share a few insights from it this week…

Susan Cain writes about the power of isolation in creativity and innovation. She cites a variety of studies. Like one where they divided up expert violinists at the elite Music Academy in West Berlin into three groups – good, great, and best. What led to the difference in ability? One thing. The best musicians spent way more time practicing in solitude.

Or the U.C. Berkeley study were they sought to identify the most “spectacularly creative people and then figure out what made them different from everybody else” examining architects, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and writers. So what was the answer? They worked alone.

Or the University of Minnesota study of advertising executives who were asked to participate in both solitary and group brainstorming sessions. “The results were unambiguous. The men in twenty-three of the twenty-four groups produced more ideas when they worked on their own than when they worked as a group. They also produced ideas of equal or higher quality when working individually.”

Or the research done into the increasingly popular “open space” work environments, which have proven that people produce more and better quality work when they have their offices and can close their doors.

So … the research is in. Working alone isn’t just for introverts, it’s for people who want to do more and better work.