So did that last brainstorming session you were in that was meant to generate a hundred ideas deliver? If not, here’s why:
“the idea behind brainstorming is right. To innovate, we need environments that support imaginative thinking, where we can go through many crazy, tangential, and even bad ideas to come up with good ones. We need to work both collaboratively and individually. We also need a healthy amount of heated discussion, even arguing. We need places where someone can throw out a thought, have it critiqued, and not feel so judged that they become defensive and shut down. Yet this creative process is not necessarily supported by the traditional tenets of brainstorming: group collaboration, all ideas held equal, nothing judged.
In the previous post on this blog I pointed to an article which amongst other things was critical of brainstorming as an idea generation technique. This article was from the NY Times. It seems groupwork, derided by the moniker groupthink is under fire on other fronts with another article in the New Yorker. this came to my attention via Bob Sutton, a Professor of Management who wrote a response.“Why the Sharp Distinction Between “Individual” and “Group” Brainstorming is False in Real Teams”.
Some highlights from the article to encourage your further reading: