Brainstorming has become the play for just about every corporate problem. It’s a feel-good and purposeful reason for people to gather. And it’s fun because we get to say crazy things. But lately, we’ve been hearing arguments against the practice.
- Groups coalesce around obvious solutions first.
- Worse, the group gets anchored in the initial discussion, and can’t make the jump to alternatives.
- Loud mouths disproportionately influence the discussion, and the most introverted personalities are not heard at all.
- Groupthink sets in, especially the closer it gets to five o’ clock or lunch. The group becomes self-congratulatory, and the members tell each other they’ve got it nailed.
- There is little accountability for actually devising interesting solutions, or getting them to work.
- Artificial time pressures, e.g. “we have a half-hour” to crack this, shut down creativity.
- We are told to be uncritical of ideas, and therefore every idea no matter what its merit needs to be considered.