Day in-and-out we spend a good amount of our time coming up with creative ideas, solving problems, and making decisions. With focus, concentration, and inspiration, we are better and faster at these applied thinking skills.

Your boss just let you know – due in 48 hours – is the “big idea” that will build awareness of the new ready-to-drink beverage that is flopping. My guess is that sitting at a melamine covered desk, with gray cube walls, florescent lamps, message light blinking, and e-mails pinging isn’t the most effective place to hatch this killer solution. You need CONDUCIVITY.

Yep… a conducive, stress-free space that’s comfortable, free of distraction, and full of inspiration.

Tim Gallway in his book “The Inner Game of Work: Overcoming Mental Obstacles for Maximum Performance” outlined this formula…

Performance = potential – interference

The ability to be innovative and create new ideas is governed by our POTENTIAL minus the INTERFERENCE… Interference may include… lack of confidence, lack of process, lack of support, or in this example, a lack of conducive space.

Sounds great! How do I avoid this interference and find conducivity?

As an Individual

We spend a lot of our time at our desks, perhaps in a cubicle. Surround yourself with stuff that inspires you. Listen to music that gets your creative juices flowing. (Wear headphones, your tunes may not be what works for a cube-mate). Put on your cube walls pictures of your family, your kids, people who inspire you. Post pictures of your Imaginary Board of Directors. Call on them for help.

Create a Library, Cabin, Sci-Fi, or any other themed cube inspired by Kelly Moore’s book Cube Chic. If you’re the boss, try office modification.

If your desk won’t work for you – find another space.

As a marketer with Starbucks Coffee, I found it less distracting to be in a Starbucks cafe than in the Starbucks offices. Even though the cafe was noisy and busy, I didn’t have my real distractions – a phone, e-mail, and friendly co-workers.

Discover what works best for you.

As a Group

Stay out of the bored room! If your conference rooms suck the life out of you – trust they won’t be the space that will inspire you.

Besides that, it may be the very room where they came up with the idea that isn’t working (re: RTD flopping). Einstein once said… Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which they were created.

So, if your conference rooms are uninspiring, perhaps you need to build a space within your office – a CreativityLab – an in-building idea clubhouse.

If that is still too close to distraction, leave your building altogether.

There is no formula or prescription that works for everyone. Figure out what works for you and your team. You may find inspiration in a bowling alley, public library, or far-away resort lodge. Whatever you discover – go for it! Discover conducivity.