The Central Intelligence Agency isn’t the sort of place that draws a lot of self-described “creative spirits.” But according to the 9/11 Commission, their presence is sorely needed. How can the CIA—and other highly convergent, formal bureaucracies—best make use of those employees who feel like square pegs in round holes?
Many pay lip service to nonconformity, but if you’re really unusual, you’ve probably struggled with the implications of deviating from the norm. How should we balance the costs and benefits of our divergence? In this issue’s introductory letter, Third Factor editor in chief Jessie Mannisto links our authors’ takes on this challenge to Eleanor Roosevelt’s writings on how to be an individual.
What does it mean to be a divergent thinker? Dr. Deirdre Lovecky of the Gifted Resource Center of New England discusses what drives these individuals to march to the beats of their own drummers—and the challenges they face while doing so.
We’ve divided the political world into a red team and a blue team. Where does a person belong when she sees not only shimmers of red in the blue and the blue in the red, but oranges, yellows, greens, and purples besides? One thing’s for sure: it will take courage for such a person to find—or keep—a political home.
For our issue on non/conformity, we have the perfect book to feature: the story of a heretic.