Drive Now, Create Later

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, who is currently at the Lancaster University Management School in the U.K., is the author of papers including “Generating eustress by challenging employees: helping people savor their work,” “A meta-analysis of work demand stressors and job performance: examining main and moderating effects” and “The mediating effects of job satisfaction and propensity to leave on role stress-job performance relationships: combining meta-analysis and structural equation modeling.” Clearly this is a man who is more clever than the average CBE.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, who is currently at the Lancaster University Management School in the U.K., is the author of papers including “Generating eustress by challenging employees: helping people savor their work,” “A meta-analysis of work demand stressors and job performance: examining main and moderating effects” and “The mediating effects of job satisfaction and propensity to leave on role stress-job performance relationships: combining meta-analysis and structural equation modeling.”

Clearly this is a man who is more clever than the average CBE.

Land Rover contracted this organizational psychologist to do a study, along with the Institute of Directors, on determining the optimal environments for inspiring creative ideas in business leaders.

RangeRover

Among the findings is that 84 percent of the over 900 global CEOs, directors and high-level managers believe that their environment is important for enabling creative thought and 48 percent indicate that being at home is where they can be most creative. Which may be good for DIY projects.

However, because this is a study a vehicle manufacturer is involved with, there has to be something in it for it, so it is noted that 18 percent surveyed say they are most creative in their car. Let’s hope that that creativity is focused on business, the arts or science, not on “creative driving.”

According to Professor Sir Cooper, “The findings of this study suggest that cars present an opportunity for both the right psychological and the right physical conditions for creativity. Creative thoughts will often come to us at a time when we least expect them--when we are relaxed or not thinking about a problem. Experiments have shown that when dopamine is released into our brains from habitual or instinctive distractions, such as driving a car, we are more able to allow our brains to be creative."

Again, here’s hoping that these executives don’t have an overwhelming amount of that neurotransmitter released while trying to negotiate the traffic on the I-5 (or the M40, between London and Lancaster).

“Almost one in ten” surveyed (9? 8?) reported that they spend “more than 25 percent of their working week in the car” (26 percent? 27?).

The most common activity reported during this drive time among those working, an activity that hits 40 percent, is “creative thought.”

Given the number of hours spent in commuting, you’d imagine there would be a heck of a lot more creativity in business.