The Productivity Illusion - Deepstash
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Creating A Culture Of Learning

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The Productivity Illusion

In working cultures, there is an underlying belief that "productivity requires speed". Therefore, organisations value people who work fast, make quick decisions and tick off their to-do list. 

In reality, this 'fast productivity' stifles creativity and innovation.


209 reads


Individual ideation results in 2x the ideas.

A Yale study found that when individuals came up with ideas by themselves, there were double the amount generated during a group session.

To capitalise on this, you should capture people's ideas before bringing them to the whole g...


110 reads

Organisations rarely foster creativity.

Creativity is an in-demand skill, with studies showing that CEOs feel "innovation" is the number one priority for their business. But 77% of those CEOs also believe it's hard to find employees with creativity and innovation skills.

But, in reality, plenty of people meet the criteria. The pr...


355 reads

The Intelligence Illusion

Organisations tend to reward "smart-talkers", who sound more intelligent when they're critical of others, ideas, and works. 

When people engage in criticism, they appear (at face value) to be more competent and are rewarded by leaders.


134 reads

Encourage positivity to generate more ideas.

After taking over Pixar, Steve Jobs implemented a policy of "plussing", which led to great success. 

Plussing is a simple strategy where someone can only criticise an idea if they also offer a potential solution. This helps to improve on ideas, remove flaws, and generate new ideas.


127 reads

Resolving things too quickly prevents innovation.

Our tendency to value fast productivity prevents us from keeping an open mind once we find a solution to a problem.

To avoid this, you should encourage extra incubation of ideas toward the end of the decision-making process. 


190 reads


115 reads

The Brainstorming Illusion

Traditional group brainstorming isn't as productive as we think. 

Group brainstorming feels productive because we experience connection with others. But in reality, this type of brainstorming can prevent people from interjecting with their ideas, promote anxiety, and make disenfranchised em...


143 reads




🤔 Creative thinker ✒️ Copywriter & editor 🧠 Infp with ADHD learning productivity 📣 Twitter: @teagandoeswords

Organisations want innovators, and creative people want to be supported in the workplace. So we need to change the way the workplace works for everyone's benefit.

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The Productivity Illusion

The Productivity Illusion

Trying to resolve things too quickly, especially for complex problems, is detrimental to innovation because you fall prey to premature closure. And resistance to premature closure — a key aspect of creativity — is our ability to keep an open mind when we already have a po...

Productivity Is Not Personal

  • Our productivity is actually connected to the productivity of other people in our organization, our clients and even end-users.
  • Management has to intervene in order to ensure that there is productivity across the company, making this a top-down approach.
  • A...

The three levels of individual productivity

There are three main elements that lead to a certain outcome when it comes to individual productivity: energy, information and creativity.

The first two go together very well, as we need energy in order to be physically able to work, while information is what guides u...


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