Joining in social networks, such as Facebook, are all the rage at the moment. If you’re not in a social network, you’re no-one. However, when people join, say Facebook and then Ecademy, they tend to mix with the same people. Your collection of “friends” on Facebook is likely to be remarkably similar to your “contacts” on Ecademy or your connections on LinkedIn.

At first sight, the fact that you are widely connected in this way may seem a good thing. But research from the University of California hints that this might not be such a good idea after all. It seems that when we are in a group to help us achieve things, by creative thought for instance, we think we are doing well if we are familiar with the group members. If, however, we enter into new, unfamiliar groups, it actually increases our creative behaviours.

So, take advantage of online social networks, but stop mixing with your friends; going out to join in unfamiliar groups and clubs online is more likely to boost your creative processes and so help your business.

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