I’ve never thought that brainstorming might be so controversial. Then I’ve found this article: Is Brainstorming a waste of time? Let’s talk about brainstorming and its rules.
- Generate as many ideas as possible – the more ideas you come up with, the better chance you have of coming up with good ones.
- Don’t criticise – it will dampen peoples enthusiasm and kill their creativity.
- Welcome unusual ideas – it’s important to break out of your usual mindset and consider wild and wacky ideas if you want to be really creative.
- Combine and improve ideas – instead of criticising ideas, look for way to use them in combination and/or make them better.
In my opinion people who don’t like brainstorming and people who like this method have right.
- Generate as many ideas as possible.
So… we should invite as many people as possible…. Seriously? It is the simplest way to generate ideas that sound like: money for everyone. So maybe to get good ideas we need people who are showing that they are interested in solving some problem? Ok, this is difficult. We need creative atmosphere first…
- Don’t criticise
So… money for everyone! We shouldn’t criticise such idea because the rule says: don’t criticise – author said. Brainstorming has no sense – the others shouted. We have invited as many people as possible to generate as many ideas as possible to kill the creativity which should help us to solve the problem. Seriously? Why not to invite people interested in solving the problem to solve the problem? Oh yes… it is difficult. We need creative atmosphere first…
- Welcome unusual ideas
So… money for everyone! ;)
- Combine and improve ideas
So… more money for everyone! ;) Ok. What if people are interested in solving the problem and of course are interested in improving ideas that help to solve the problem? Oh yes… it is difficult. We need creative atmosphere first…
My conclusion is: brainstorming is a method that should connect people (especially when they don’t know each other) with different point of view for the same problems e.g managers, developers, graphics, clients, interested in solving them. The main purpose of brainstorming shouldn’t be the longest list with ideas but knowledge sharing. Who knows, maybe one day it will pay off? We could measure the effectiveness in terms of number of ideas but we will never measure how we influence others.
It is difficult. We need creative atmosphere first. This is the challenge for leader.