031: Boosting Creativity the Easy Way

Uncommon Sense: the This is True Podcast show

Summary: In This Episode: There’s a proven way to boost your creativity, open-mindedness, thoughtfulness, and more. The best part: it’s also fun, interesting, and can even be done while working, or on vacation.<br> <br> <a class="twitter-share-button" href="https://twitter.com/share?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Tweet</a><br> <a href="#transcript">Jump to Transcript</a><br> <a href="https://thisistrue.com/category/podcasts/">How to Subscribe and List of All Episodes</a><br> Show Notes<br> <br> * Details on Americans’ travel habits: <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2019/05/02/percentage-of-americans-who-never-traveled-beyond-the-state-where-they-were-born-a-surprise/#4360a0972898">Percentage Of Americans Who Never Traveled Beyond The State Where They Were Born? A Surprise</a>.<br> * More about Prof. Adam Galinsky’s findings: <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/for-a-more-creative-brain-travel/388135/">For a More Creative Brain, Travel</a>.<br> * Wikipedia on <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles">The Troubles</a> in Ireland.<br> * See below for a couple of photos of Belfast’s “peace walls”.<br> <br> <a name="transcript"></a><br> Transcript<br> My wife and I just returned (a few hours before recording this!) from a trip we called “ScIreland” — a tour to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. This will definitely not be a travelogue, but rather an exploration of the reasons why we travel: how travel, especially to foreign countries, makes humans smarter, happier, more creative, and thoughtful. Just the sort of things that This is True is about in the first place.<br> Welcome to Uncommon Sense, I’m Randy Cassingham.<br> I have a love-hate relationship with travel. I love doing it, even though I hate the disruption to my schedule. I do travel a fair amount of travel around the U.S. for business, such as conferences, speaking engagements, and consulting gigs, but now that technology is making it easier and easier to get my work done even in foreign countries, I’m hoping to do more foreign travel, at least as funds allow.<br> A recent survey found that 11 percent of Americans have never been outside the state where they were born; 40 percent have never left the United States. On the bright side, 85 percent say they like to experience new things, about 60 percent have a list of places they’d like to see, and 76 percent would like to travel more. Certainly finances figure into that, but other reasons for not traveling include “feeling unprepared and ill-equipped to venture forth into unknown territory.”<br> If that describes you, think about finding someone who is comfortable with it and see if you can go on their next trip. More on that in a few minutes.<br> I’m not traveling just for fun: there are proven benefits to travelers that last far beyond the length of their trips. What got my attention recently was that business improves when the leaders of that business make time for foreign travel. And if you’re like me, about now you’re thinking, “Prove it.” Let’s get started.<br> A study published by the Academy of Management Journal led by Prof. Adam Galinsky of the Columbia Business School found that when a company’s “influential executives” personally engage in foreign travel, as opposed to sending underlings to do the firm’s business, there’s a direct correlation to the company’s “creative innovations,” which the study team defined as the extent to which their resulting products or services are novel and useful from the standpoint of their customers. To study this,