Recent research suggests that ambivalent feelings — the simultaneous anxiety and excitement of starting a new project, say — enhance creativity. Assistant Professor Christina Ting Fong of the University of Washington business school set up situations where students felt different degrees of ambivalence. The students then took the Remote Associates Test, a commonly used measure of creativity. According to BusinessWeek, Oct. 30, 2006 at 16, those who felt ambivalent scored higher on creativity.
If novelty and nervousness sharpen, perhaps because an ambivalent state of mind broadens the mental resources drawn upon, in-house counsel who are under pressure and dealing with new legal issues have the most fertile circumstances for coming up with novel solutions.
Elsewhere this blog has dealt with creativity (See my posts of May 4, 2005 and the low regard by law departments of law firm creativity; July 21, 2005 on the low value departments place on law firm creativity; Oct.18, 2005 about lawyers not necessarily wanting more creative and demanding work; Oct. 30, 2005 #3 and some survey results on law firm creativity; Jan. 10, 2006 on methods to boost creativity; May 14, 2006 on personality attributes of inside lawyers; May 16, 2006 on right-brained creativity; June 15, 2006 on creativity in executives; Aug. 28, 2006 on Edward De Bono’s Green Hat thinking; Sept. 4, 2006 on methods to push creativity; and Oct. 6, 2006 about leadership.).