Bill Gates is no stranger to making space for ideas. His twice-a-year 'Think Weeks', where he retreats to a cabin somewhere in woodland in the Pacific Northwest, have seeded some of Microsoft’s most world-changing innovations. In 1995, he emerged from his cabin with ‘The Internet Tidal Wave’ – a strategy for Microsoft harnessing the internet’s potential.
In the early 20th Century, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was busy changing the way the world thinks about psychology. Retreat was central to the success of his ideas. He built a two-story hideaway in the Swiss countryside, and escaped his hectic schedule in Zurich to focus on the development of the school of thought we now call ‘analytical psychology’.
Ideas are cultivated through ritual. While developing the ideas for The Origin Of Species, Charles Darwin had a strict workday ritual that involved early morning walks, several intense hours alone in his study, and time set aside to catch up on his mail. He’d then take a lengthy walk to mull over challenging ideas, and clock off early.