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3 posts tagged with "Creativity"

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Candidate Breadth v.s. Depth

Quinn McHugh
Quinn McHugh

One aspect of hiring/interviewing I've been thinking about:

I have a hunch that hiring processes tend to focus more on a candidate's depth of knowledge in a select number of areas than the total questionably relevant breadth of knowledge they possess.

This makes sense because it's a form of measurability bias - it's hard to assess skills and experience that don't seem relevant to the immediate role being hired for, but that seemingly irrelevant blend of expertise could be the thing that enables that candidate to have outsized impact relative to other candidates. You can think of a candidate's breadth of knowledge can be an loose proxy for level of creativity and capacity to innovate. It's easier to produce good ideas when you have a lot of other ideas (from both similar and dissimilar domains) to take inspiration from.

This doesn't apply to all roles, of course, but I do think it's something worth thinking about.


Quinn McHugh
Quinn McHugh

One paradoxical aspect of innovation - to increase your creativity or output, it's a good idea to decrease your creative bounds.

For example:

  1. Timeboxing - Limiting the time you have to execute a task, helping reduce the effect of Parkinson's Law (the tendency for work to expand to the time allotted for its completion)
  2. Sizeboxing - Limiting the physical size in which you can produce work e.g. limiting your essays to the screenshot of a phone, writing individual notes on 4x6 index cards, record a song with only two instruments, paint on canvas no more than 4x4 inches.
  3. Scopeboxing - Limiting the scope of ideas you're allowed to produce e.g. "If I was the only one working on this project, what kinds of risks would I focus on mitigating?"