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Wall Street Journal’s Sandberg Rains on Brainstorming

June 13, 2006

So many things I’d like to comment on right now, but the quickest one is a Wall Street Journal article about brainstorming by Jared Sandberg.

I usually only point these things out if I’ve also hear the same thing elsewhere or in previous research.

Group Brainstorming Ineffective
Basically, Jared is saying that many experts find the idea of group brainstorming to be highly ineffective at producing truly creative ideas.

Jared quotes a professor at University of Texas who says that teamwork and brainstorming are two management fads that have little research to support them. (He quotes a bunch of other professors throughout the article).

“The best way to get good ideas is to get people to write them down privately and then bring them in,” says Savid Perkins, professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The article is called Brainstorming Works Best if People Scramble For Ideas on Their Own in secion B1 of today’s Journal.

Anyone care to disagree?

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3 comments

  1. I guess it depends. A typical meeting of – let’s get everyone together and brainstorm a new idea almost always is a waste of time and you are probably better off with people emailing their suggestion in. For the rare occasion when it is structured and held offsite, then I’ve seen it work very well.

    PardonMyFrench,

    Eric


  2. I’m with the Prof.
    I dont know of any great inventions that came in a brainstorm.
    do you?


  3. I’m not with the prof or theotherthomasotter . How would you know or have access to know what may or may not have come from a brainstorming session ? The key thing lost in Sanberg’s column is context and the dynamics of a well designed collaborative brainstorm . One of the major benefits of a group is the variety of angles (from a variety of disiplines in many cases) and the purely objective responses to ideas generated by any one person. Most of the analysis and responses I’ve seen from the column and the reaction to it have been static and simplistic.



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