Creativity at the Wheel
One in five Executives have their best ideas in the car.
Comfortable seating, natural light and the absence of noise are the most crucial factors in encouraging creative thought, according to a study. The report, carried out by Land Rover with organisational psychologist Sir Cary Cooper and the Institute of Directors, questioned over 900 global CEOs, directors and high-level managers to assess the optimum environment for inspiring creative ideas.
It found that 84% of business leaders believe their environment is important for enabling creative thought. Beyond the top 3 physical factors, respondents listed fresh air (23%), a feeling of space (18%) and natural materials (wood, leather etc.) (5%) as being vital for a creative environment, whilst being in comfort (64%), having time to think (61%) and not feeling stressed (41%) were seen as the required psychological conditions for having the best ideas.
In line with these findings, the home was reported to be the most effective place for being creative (48%) – away from the stress and distraction of the office – while one in five Executives (18%) said they have their best ideas in the car.For those who are working in the car, the most common activity is creative thought (40%), as they use the respite of a journey to relax and reflect inwardly.
“The findings of this study suggest that cars present an opportunity for both the right psychological and the right physical conditions for creativity,” says Sir Cary Cooper. “Creative thoughts will often come to us at a time when we least expect them – when we are relaxed or not thinking about a problem. Experiments have shown that when dopamine is released into our brains from habitual or instinctive distractions, such as driving a car, we are more able to allow our brains to be creative.»
Almost one in ten Executives questioned revealed that they spent more than 25% of their working week in the car. In developing its luxury Range Rover vehicles – often driven or used by senior executives – Land Rover has worked hard to perfect the environment for both extended working and thinking time.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, explains how the design team have designed into Range Rover an environment that is conducive to fostering creative thought:«We designed an interior for the Range Rover that reflects the needs of our customers: so there is an order and visual logic – an interior architecture that promotes calm and serenity, and which creates that sense of elevation Range Rover is renowned for; something that just feels right. At waist level, a feeling of being cocooned within the car – away from the rush and noise of the outside world – is juxtaposed with a connection to this world through its vast panoramic roof – providing as much natural light as possible.”