Wednesday, February 15, 2012


We know that group brainstorming doesn't work. Yet group brainstorming/open-ended discussion sessions always feel incredibly creative and thought-provoking, which presumably is where its appeal and illusion of effectiveness comes from. But not hard to understand the illusion. If everyone has distinct starting point for their personal brainstorming, allowing everyone to brainstorm separately and combining those insights will lead to a cumulative view that circumscribes those ideas. On the other hand, brainstorming collectively pulls each person away from their starting point towards the group mean, from the start, often before they have a chance to voice each their starting point, let alone go in a different direction.

So each person is pushed farther from their comfort zone, and therefore feels thought-provoked, but the overall result is much less diverse.

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