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Take a Hike

Forget designing quieter cubicles. Companies that really want to maintain a creative edge should install locker rooms with great showerheads for their workers. Not so they can sleep on the office sofa and then get up and work all day smelling springtime fresh. But because showers are a unique lubricant to the idea-sparking part of the brain.

I thought I was a weird-o, since I do my best writing in the shower (next innovation needed: waterproof pen). But I’m relieved to discover I’m in good company (get your mind out of the gutter. I shower alone). In this week’s Adweek, Nina DiSesa, long time creative director and former chairman of McCann Erickson, the big New York ad shop, says the brilliant line, “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard,” was dreamed up by Jonathan Cranin in the shower. DiSesa says that in lieu of office locker rooms, when her team was stuck, she’d tell them to go to a movie. Take a walk. Rest their brains. That’s when ideas, boxed in by the corporate environment and distractions, bubble forth.

So listen up, Herman Miller. Forget the next generation Aeron chair. If you care about American innovation, come up with the Aeron showerhead. And watch a thousand flowers bloom.

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