The Power of ‘Third Places’

This essay about creating a “third space” for creative interactions, and how it has worked to energize business creativity and collaboration, offers an exciting idea for leaders — it’s not about who you are — it can be about THE SPACE YOU CREATE. Wow!


Creativity is unleashed not only through the mindset we engage…but the environments we create.

Creativity is not always an individual sport. It is often the result of collaborative clashes and conversational hit-and-runs. Our ongoing flow of ideas and creativity is often as much an accidental occurrence as it is from our focused efforts. Consider how many chance encounters and run-ins which have led to powerful conversations that spurred new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways of seeing and doing.

But for this to happen, we have to create and design an environment where these creative clashes and conversational hit-and-runs can occur. Settings that author Ray Oldenburg refer to as our ‘Third Places’.

In his work Imagine, Jonah Lehrer describes Oldenburg’s vision of these ‘third places’ as…”any interactive environment that is neither the home (first place) nor the office (the second place).” “The virtue of these…

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