The Medici Effect refers to the creative environment created by the Medici banking family in Renaissance Italy in the 16th Century. The author gives insights into how to create that effect again and create spurts of innovation in your environment.
The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson
Frans refers to this phenomenon as an ‘Intersection’. You may refer to this term as ‘cross-pollination’ of ideas from various fields as well. So essentially what the author is saying is to identify opportunities for the cross-pollination of ideas. Or, get to a point that is at the intersection of unrelated fields, and generate a lot of ideas combining the two fields. Probably creating something new.
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It’s a small book full of stories and anecdotes. These are used as examples to illustrate the power of Intersection. There is a good analysis of how people from different dimensions come together and build a new dimension.
How to unleash your own creativity you need to get out of your network and your comfort zone. You need to put yourself in an absolutely new environment. This is when you learn fast and apply your knowledge of multiple fields to generate new ideas.
Applying this to an organizational situation would take as much effort as any other innovation technique. An organization will have to create an environment and platform for such intersections to happen. Then they would need to create a framework to evaluate and take forward the ideas that are created.
I have often quoted this book in talks on Innovation through travel. For what is travel but stepping out of your comfort zone and learning everything new? It gives you new eyes, and new dimensions and allows you to learn organically. You see ideas and solutions that you can adapt in your own home or work environment.
Ancient trade routes when they met at crossroads created the same effect. This is the reason places like Varanasi were so rich both culturally as well as economically.
Read the book more for the examples and the relatable stories. Some of them are very interesting and not so well known. But otherwise, it is a nice read. May not be something drastically different from what you already know if you are in the innovation space.