Why I banned brainstorming
Brainstorming is the oldest and most widely used creativity technique in business today. So if everyone uses it then it must work, right?
Wrong! Brainstorming might work reasonably well for generating mediocre ideas with incremental impact, but it is completely useless for coming up with truly innovative breakthrough ideas. I’ve banned brainstorming in my business – here is the reason why.
IT’S A NUMBERS GAME, OR IS IT? “Come up with as many ideas as you can. Focus on quantity, not quality!” This is the f irst fundamental rule of brainstorming and on the surface it seems to make sense. Nobel prizewinning scientist Linus Pauling said: “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.” A bit like picking strawberries – the way to go home with a good basket is to pick lots of strawberries and then just throw away the rotten ones.
Pauling also said: “When an old a nd dist i nguished person s peaks to you, l isten to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him . . . Your elder, no matter whether he is a Nobel laureate, may be wrong.” I’m afraid in this case, he is. Ideas are