Why You Should Stop Brainstorming Immediately.

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“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,”said Pablo Picasso

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.

  1. Groups coalesce around obvious solutions first.
  2. Worse, the group gets anchored in the initial discussion, and can’t make the jump to alternatives.
  3. Loud mouths disproportionately influence the discussion, and the most introverted personalities are not heard at all.
  4. 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.
  5. There is little accountability for actually devising interesting solutions, or getting them to work.
  6. Artificial time pressures, e.g. “we have a half-hour” to crack this, shut down creativity.
  7. We are told to be uncritical of ideas, and therefore every idea no matter what its merit needs to be considered.
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