Group Brainstorming does not work! Better work alone!



I have just read this article by Kevin Ashton in Medium.com about brainstorming not working in large group in most cases. My personal experience working in large company reinforce this idea very much. The reason is obvious and most people know it. The reason is self-interest over riding group interest. People's typically cannot stop judging other people's silly ideas to say the least. More often, we cannot avoid office politic happening in every corner. Unless the team in under much pressured situation so that everybody put aside their personal interests for the greater goods and that the team members are good mix of complimenting skills, brainstorming often become a top-management driven show to "pitch" their strategies, or a process of coming up idea to make up of lacking of ideas from top-management.

However, brainstorming works on stand alone situation. It's really a thinking process of coming up with as many ideas as possible and then slowly filters away the worst one and further refine the good ones.

However, let's be realistic, group brainstorming will continue to exist. You will run into it every year. Just make sure you understand that it may not be a as "effective" in large group than in small group. Prepare yourself for the real nature of the meeting to get the best use of the meeting instead of naively thinking that it's a pure brainstorming meeting. Basically you need to really assess your company's culture to determine if the terms "brainstorming" is really means what it is.


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