What are some proven creativity patterns of great thinkers?

I read the New Scientist article “The Goldilock network” (26 May 2012) by Zella King where it says that creativity comes down to creating a “tension between alien perspectives and familiar faces.” In other words, you need to find the right mix of people in your life to be creative. Strangers will generate unconventional ways of thinking while friends will help shape and meld your ideas.

King discussed the importance of avoiding the “insider trap”, where ideas flop because they are based on in jokes that appeal to a limited audience or points of reference that only make sense to people close to you. One of the best ways to avoid the “insider trap” is by “periodically replacing 25% of your news sites, blogs or twitter feeds.”

What I take from this, is that the diversification of what one reads/participates in is an essential “creativity pattern” for great thinkers. By diversifying your material, activities and social network you will provide the foundations that are required to make conceptual links between things that you didn’t realise were related. These links, I think, lead to lightning striking the dunny.