TILBURG, The Netherlands, November 8 /PRNewswire/ --

- PhD Research About Creativity and Innovation by Arne de Vet

A few minutes of silent thinking during a meeting strengthens the innovative ability of a group. This can even double the amount of new ideas, especially in a group that has at least one person who is relatively introverted. This is what Arne de Vet concluded in his PhD dissertation about the effect of silently thinking on creativity and innovation.

For most businesses, innovation is of vital importance. At the same time teams and (team) meetings are increasingly playing an important role. When managers want to develop new ideas, they often schedule a joint brainstorm session. And also due to the growing pressure of work there continues to be less time for individual reflection. Arne de Vet examined whether talking less and taking more time to quietly think by oneself could influence innovation. His study of the social and cognitive psychology literature of the last 30 years and his experimental study of more than 400 persons have led to a number of interesting results.

Brain capacity for new ideas

Talking and thinking at the same time, as is necessary for instance at a meeting, lowers the creativity for some people. This multi-tasking requires a lot of brain capacity - especially for those who are sensitive to reactions and opinions of others and that find it difficult to modify their story to this. Because of this, there is less capacity available for generating new ideas.

Five minutes of silent thinking

The creativity of a group rises tremendously when the discussion is interrupted to think quietly. Five minutes of quietly thinking during a meeting of 45 minutes doubled the amount of ideas of the group, especially in a group with at least one introvert person. An intermezzo gives individuals time to come up with new ideas without being disturbed.

Debate and result

A group debate can have a lot of influence on the character and quality of the (strategic) decision, as was found by De Vet. Incremental innovation arises more often from the debate of a group that consists of people that find it difficult to adjust their story to the influences and expressions of others. When the group consists of people that are able to modify their presentation to the opinions of others, group debate more often leads to a decision for a radical innovation.

A.J. (Arne) de Vet (1972, Schiedam) studied business economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and got his MBA from INSEAD, France. He worked from 1996 to 2003 as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and from 2004 to 2007 for the Tilburg University. He has been an independent management consultant in the area of strategy, organization and innovation since 2003.

Arne de Vet will obtain his Doctorate on Friday November 16, 2007 at 04:15 p.m. at the Auditorium of the University of Tilburg (Warandelaan 2). His supervisor is Professor Dr H.G. Barkema.

The dissertation "The effects of thinking in silence on creativity and innovation" (ISBN 978 90 5668 199) is available in electronic format from the author (arne@devetmanagement.com). A summary is available on http://www.devetmanagement.com

Note for the media: More information: Arne de Vet, tel. +32(0)473-409317, arne@devetmanagement.com. A picture is available on http://www.devetmanagement.com