MacDowell colony
By bringing people together in an unconventional setting, reducing distractions and promoting exchanges across disciplines, the MacDowell Colony, the US’s oldest and most famous artist colony, has spawned remarkable creativity. Aaron Copland worked on "Appalachian Spring", Thornton Wilder wrote "Our Town", Leonard Bernstein composed "Mass" and James Baldwin penned "Notes of a Native Son" during MacDowell stays.

Some management experts believe MacDowell’s approach could be useful in business. "Managers typically tap only a small portion of workers’ creative capabilities," says Richard Florida, a public policy professor at George Mason University and the author of The Rise of the Creative Class. Successful companies increasingly "will look more like an artist colony or inventor’s laboratory than the office of today." […]

Some bigger businesses have also embraced policies that echo aspects of MacDowell’s approach. Google Inc. engineers and technical staffers can devote 20% of their time to any projects they choose. The arrangements helped give birth to news and social-networking products, among others.

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(via Business Innovation Insider)