Steven F. Freeman

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Creativity and Innovation Research

page last modified: 10/26/2011 06:06 PM

Most people who go on to doctoral studies do so in an area of strength. But some take up a topic out of deficiency, and I'm in that group. I had always been able to ace tests, excel in individual actiivities and generally do well on independent tasks. But with groups and organizations, no. From my first encounters at school, I’ve pretty much always been at odds with institutions and conventions; with counter-cultural alternatives no less than the dominants.

Withdrawal may be a temporary solution, but hardly a satisfying one. It may be difficult to live and work with people, but

  1. If you want to have impact on the world, it virtually has to be part of a larger group. In a world of 7 billion people, it takes more than one person to have an impact. Probably you need at least 36. [1]
  2. "No man is an island [2], including me.
  3. I really do kind of like people. I enjoy interactions. I like cities...

So I used my strength -- perfect 800s on the GRE verbal, quantititative and analytical sections -- to earn a PhD scholarship which I used to try to overcome my weakness -- matriculating in a Ph.D program in Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

What I learned, as it pertains to Creativity and Innovation, is that there is good reason to resist organizational influence. Organizations are literally designed to stamp out Creativity and Innovation. Modern organizations have their roots in two relatively recent human developments: the modern army and the mass production factory. [3] 

Improvisational Movement

Improvised Dance (Tango)

Coordinated Creativity: Lessons from the Improvisational Arts

Lecture notes


Article on how and why I came to love Argentine tango

"LeaderTango"  created by Andrei Villarroel:

Web City Pages