Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Brainstorming for show, not for go

Need ideas fast? Thinking of organising a 'brainstorming' session to get them? Don't waste your time, say Dutch researchers. You're better off thinking alone, and without the crutch of others to make you feel better about failure. Like much contemporary MBA mummery, brainstorming is largely a fatuous illusion.

Lateral Thinking exponent Edward de Bono agrees:
I find that people who have a brainstorming background tend to perform rather poorly... It is as if during a brainstorming session each participant is trying to make the other participant laugh at the craziness of an idea. I would also like to point out that creativity does not have to be a group activity. Creative techniques can be used in a powerful way by individuals working entirely on their own.
LINKS: Why do we still believe in group brainstorming? - BPS Research Digest
Serious creativity - Edward de Bono

TAGS: Nonsense, Science, Ethics

3 Comments:

Blogger Jude the Obscure said...

My experiences with brainstorming during the 1980s was - incompetent boss dragged staff into room for brainstorming session, picked over the best ideas and implemented them as his own. It worked for him.

2/28/2006 06:46:00 pm  
Blogger Neil said...

I would have to agree. I have started working from home for my own business and feel very creative.

What I always found odd previously was gatherings of people in suits and ties sitting around a table urging each other to think outside the square...

3/01/2006 09:27:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Yep, Jude, as the researchers point out, brainstorming usually does work for the boss. :-)

Neil: "What I always found odd previously was gatherings of people in suits and ties sitting around a table urging each other to think outside the square..."

I've always found that anyone who uses appalling cliches such as "ahead of the curve" or uses exhortations to "think outside the square" is right smack in the middle of the bloody square themselves. All four corners of it.

3/01/2006 10:10:00 am  

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