The Idea Loft Cited In Thought Leadership

Table 2.2 Four features of a high quality social thinking environment

  • One with purpose (in the sense that thinking is a job to be done)
  • One where time is valuable and valued
  • One where honesty and authenticity are non-negotiable, and;
  • One where thinking is conducted as if it were a group exploration

Finally, we can look to the physical design of buildings and, in particular, discussion spaces to foster an environment that reflects, among others, the principles outlined in Table 2.2. In Kansas City, North America, Chuck Dymer, an excellent teacher and trainer in the field of creativity, and Master Trainer of Edward de Bono’s thinking methods, has devoted his energies to building a space that accelerated the thinking process.

The area, called ‘The Idea Loft’, is based around principles of achieving a common purpose, of facilitating free movement between ideas, of using time with care and creating a spirit of discovery and exploration. This is done…through the deliberate use of large empty spaces contrasted with cozy, homely spaces; through giant focus boards that remind participants of where their attention should be; through the use of wall-projected timers and through relaxation areas that foster an attitude of openness and honesty. The Idea Loft even has its own chef. Chuck Dymer, President of PeopleWorks Inc., explains what led him to create this environment:

For years I’ve been helping organizations generate ideas and new products. I noticed a long time ago that space matters. Diverse locations affect thinking; a tennis club in London; a Victorian fortress and a dude ranch come to mind. But these (settings) weren’t designed to enhance business strategies. I have been through what every business person has too – boring meetings, stale hotels and conference rooms not fit for man nor beast. That’s why I designed The Idea Loft.

The question you may want to ask of yourself is, if in conducting your discussions and meetings, would an environment like this help or hinder the process? If the answer is help rather than hinder there will be aspects of the physical environment that you too can replicate wherever you are.

(Thought Leadership: Moving Hearts and Minds, first published in 2007 in Great Britain by Palgrave Macmillan.)

Table 2.2 appears on page 51 of the book and the text quoted appears on pages 53 & 54.

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