04 August 2007

Group brainstorming is a good idea - when done right

Marc Andreessen quote Frans Johansson's book "The Medici Effect" citing group brainstorming are no more effective that working alone .... Well, I've read "The Medici Effect" and lot of other books related to innovation - and did disagree with "The Medici Effect" on that point back then and still does

Sidenote: had a one-year assignment at my work, being a part of a group intended to help improve innovation in company, I were a part of the 12-person team chosen partly because I privately had spend quite some time diving into innovation theory and tools - what my (still partial) booklist at librarything somewhat shows

Anyway, this research paper "A review om brainstorming research" review 50 study related to brainstorming, among those the study reference in "The Medici Effect" noting the study have been misused quite a lot as argument for not doing group brainstorming.

Most research haven't followed the original guidelines for brainstorming, among those the need for a trained facilitator, some training and preparation for the group, different kind of experiences in the group and more ..... also noting that group brainstorming were originally suggested as a tool together with individual work

The above finding match my own empirical experience developing an innovation workshop and conduction brainstorming sessions; brainstorming group should cover different angles of subject area - facilitated by a person skilled in method and tools for brainstorming.

I'll do the exploration workshop we developed any time and guarantee we end up with better result brainstorming together compared with working alone.