Creativity Killers

We often pride ourselves in being problem solvers. But sometimes, our desire to tackle challenges as quickly as possible means that we miss more imaginative – and smarter – solutions.

It may sound strange, but our propensity for problem-solving can sometimes kill our creativity.

Another way we deprive ourselves of opportunities for creative thinking is by seeking challenges that are linked to social status.

As a result, many people find themselves unhappily stuck in a career they don’t like. Because the value they assign to social status is so high, it’s almost impossible to envision an alternative path.

There are many other creativity killers, but these two are particularly insidious in the way they shape our thoughts and decisions:

  • Cognitive closureis our irrational need to find any answer to resolve ambiguous situations.
  • Status seekingis our natural desire for prestige.

The first one makes you want to win the game as fast as possible, while the other entices you play the wrong game.

Fortunately, both can be managed by injecting intention in our decision-making processes. This week, we’ll learn how you can do just that.

Enjoy your weekly dose of mindful productivity!


Reopening the mind: How cognitive closure kills creative thinking (9 min)
​Written by Anne-Laure Le Cunff​
Finding answers is a highly-valued skill in today’s world, where more than ever knowledge is power. We pride ourselves in quickly resolving issues and creating consensus. In job descriptions, companies clearly state that they are looking for problem solvers. But what if this single-mindedness blinds us to more creative answers? What would happen if we became more comfortable with unsolved problems?

The psychology of prestige: Why we play the social status game (6 min)
​Written by Dr Hannah Rose​
Far from being a modern phenomenon, we have craved status ever since we were monkeys, when it already offered evolutionary advantages. However, now that status is not so closely linked to our survival, pursuing goals based on the assumed prestige our success will confer can negatively impact our creativity and even lead to bad decisions.


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