The best way to brainstorm, is Not to brainstorm.

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Long a focus for many agencies and clients alike the dreaded Brainstorming has quite the folklore attached. Firstly, many feel the brainstorming is a way to harness the creative horsepower of an organization and focus it on a problem or challenge. The accepted paradigm is that this is a great way of involving people and getting the best idea on the table.

Professor Richad Wiseman writes in BBC Focus Magazine: “As you read this, people in offices around the globe will be having meetings trying to come up with good ideas. Researchers have gone to great trouble to test this technique….The results suggest that groups actually hinder creativity. Group brainstorming may fail because of a phenomenon known as ‘social loafing’ first noticed in the late 1880’s by French agricultural engineer Max Ringlemann. In one of the studies, people were asked to pull on a rope and life increasingly heavy weights. Wen working along, individuals lifted around 85 kilograms, but managed only 65 kilos when placed in a group, they are not as motivated to put in the time and energy. After all, they won’t receive personal praise if the group does well and can blame others if it performs badly. Group brainstorming seems to stifle, not stimulate, the creative juices”.

So next time the client or the account people start to make rumblings about a group creative session, have your ideas ready and make a dental appointment.


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