Creativity in the Twenty-first Century: The Added Benefit of Training and Cooperation

  • Naama Mayseless
  • Manish Saggar
  • Grace Hawthorne
  • Allan Reiss
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Creativity is an important construct driving society and innovation forward. Many organizations have adopted team-based work in order to increase innovation and creativity under the assumption that groups of people tend to produce more creative ideas than individuals. Research has so far shown mixed results with some finding enhanced creativity in teams while others showing the opposite effect. A short literature review of team creativity and how it relates to possible neural networks is presented. In addition, we will integrate key findings from our current research implementing a group training protocol to enhance creative capacity. Participants in our creativity study underwent a distilled version of Creative Gym, a course that has been taught at the for the past 8 years that is purely focused on individual creativity skill building in a group environment. Students enhance their creative confidence and sharpen their individual design thinking skills through hands-on experiences that are comprised of unconventional hands-on exercises organized around nine core themes that engage our human abilities in intersecting ways. Training was performed in a group environment while improving perspective taking, empathy, synthesizing ideas and developing improvisational skills. Creativity was measured, before and after participant training (Time 1 and Time 2), using standardized assessments of creativity. In addition to neuroimaging markers, other cognitive faculties (e.g. executive functioning) and personality were also assessed before and after training (Hawthorne, et al. Design thinking research. Springer, 2014). We will review the literature on team creativity and present key findings from our current research, using group based creativity skill training.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naama Mayseless
    • 1
  • Manish Saggar
    • 1
  • Grace Hawthorne
    • 2
  • Allan Reiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences ResearchStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (

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