Do you get your best ideas in the bathroom? If you answered yes, you’re in the majority, according to research conducted by thinking expert and occasional Anthill contributor Ken Wall and three colleagues.
The anecdotal research into where the best ideas come from involved thousands of participants across varying industries in South Africa, Singapore, Canada, the US and Australia.
So where do people have their best ideas? According to the research findings, the top five places are:
- Shower, bath, bathroom (57%)
- Bed (51%)
- Driving or passenger (42%)
- Walking (28%)
- Exercise, running, swimming (25%)
According to Wall, the common theme linking all these places/activities is that they all involve the person doing something other than just thinking about the problem.
“During the course of talking to thousands of people, nobody has ever said that they get their best ideas at work,” says Wall. “Let’s face it, if you spend your life in a grey cubicle, it’s not exactly going to inspire great insight.”
In light of the research findings, Wall offers organisations some advice for creating an ideas workplace:
- Create the creative space and bring in easy chairs or bean bags
- Go for walking meetings
- Take a packed lunch and go to a park
- Have one team member act as the facilitator, using a tried and tested idea generation and evaluation method.
Photo: brain_blogger (flickr)