A new article by Daniel Sobol might change your mind about having a meeting of the minds the old-fashioned way. He chronicles a few researchers’ conjectures that brainstorming doesn’t lead to innovation; rather argumentative, combative discourse is the fast track to visionary stardom.
He proffers “Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas.” Hmm, sure I’ve sat back at a meeting or two fearful of rejection, only to be wincing inside when someone else suggests the same thought and it is met with applause. I’ve also seen too many meetings fall flat with everyone shaking their head in agreement, only to have side conversations break off later complaining of this, that and the other idea. Maybe we’ve been taught to be good, docile collaborators and that even verbally throwing fists is not a good idea. We fear rejection and so we are mindful to not reject others. But perhaps it is the way to get to that big idea. To turn that light bulb on!
A very interesting read, indeed. Check it out here on Fast Company’s Design Co. page.