Over the last few years, functional MRI testing has given researchers the ability to see inside the brain in real time. Now, according to this month’s Scientific American Mind, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have used jazz pianists to show that improvisation generates activity in the medial prefrontal cortex—the same area that lights up when people are storytelling.
It’s the first scientific evidence that backs what I’ve seen in practice and explored in my thesis: telling stories excites more and better creative ideas than working from facts or tasks. In fact, when you start with a story about personal creativity, people in brainstorming sessions generate more than twice as many ideas.
It also explains why charismatic leaders with visionary stories about change can inspire even huge corporations—those stories turn on the creativity in every person who hears them. Perhaps companies that want innovation throughout the ranks should invest more in finding and telling the right stories.
We encourage your constructive, informal and even challenging comments. To ensure that new comments are relevant to the original article, all comments will be reviewed prior to posting. And, please follow these guiding principles:
- No selling of products or services.
- 2. No unlicensed or copyrighted material.
- 3. No personal privacy or harassment breaches.
- 4. No profanity.
We look forward to your contributions to this site.
Leave a Comment
About Lynda Lawrence
Lynda Lawrence is an innovation consultant with Ideaworks Consulting. She teaches Strategic Innovation and Design Management at the Merage School at UCI, and is an advisor to the Beall Center.