Brainstorming Doesn't Work

Brainstorming took the business world by storm in 1948, when advertising agent Alex Osborn published his book, "Your Creative Power." He advised workers to gather in a group and swap ideas, but never voice criticism or opposition. In theory, this would allow everyone to speak freely and without fear of being judged. However, several studies have shown that brainstorming results in fewer and less effective ideas than other tactics, such as working alone before pooling ideas, or engaging in debate.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Brainstorming has one key rule: no criticism allowed. 00:25

  2. Multiple studies show that brainstorming results in fewer, less original ideas. 00:53

  3. Unchecked free association relies on language and clich├ęs. Therefore, truly productive idea generation stems from debate and critical discussion. 01:54

Written by Curiosity Staff June 2, 2015