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Only Great Solitude Will Produce Quality Work

By: Neil Spencer - Published: • References: mavenlink
Brainstorming hasn't been around since the dawn of time, but born in the 1940s, where an advertising parter named Alex Osborn came up with a fresh new concept. "To tackle a common objective, members must meet in a group to create an unrestricted "storm" of as many ideas as possible, regardless of how ridiculous." The theory is that as long as the session is free of criticism, the system should work successfully. But without any debate in the brainstorming process, how many terrible ideas slip through the cracks?

Turns out, decades of psychology research have shown that traditional brainstorming may not be the best way to innovate. There are a few problems with groupthink, and they can been seen in a multitude of different ways. People get too comfortable in their a group and start social loafing, members act on their instinctive tendency to conform with their peers, no debating ideas, only one person expresses their ideas and creates "production blocks," lack of attention, and their own fears of criticism and rejection.

This process has shown — with the same number of people involved — that the brainstorming group came up with less ideas than the people who worked by themselves, and came up with less good ones at that. To effectively brainstorm, there are ways to combine the best of group and independent brainstorming, see how in this infographic.