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Brainstorming Is Not Always a Good Idea – Here Are 4 Alternatives:

Brainstorming Is Not Always a Good Idea – Here Are 4 Alternatives:
From Recruiter - January 26, 2017

Nowadays, brainstorming is a highly commonpractice in companies where teamwork is indispensable. The core idea behind the brainstorming strategy is to get access to the groups collective wisdom in order todrum up creative ideas for a project or particular task, develop already existing ideas, or solve problems.

Brainstorming has been used for decades, and it seems great wheneveryone feels free to contribute their distinctive strengths to the conversation and build a better tomorrow alongside the team members. However, recent studies show that this strategy is not the best way to ensure innovation.

Among those studies is one prepared by Nicholas W. Kohn and Steven M. Smith. The authors foundthat brainstorming exercises can result in a fixation on one solution and the rejection of other inspirational ideas and exciting possibilities. This, in turn, can lead to an entrenched tradition of ideas instead of creating a space for new possibilities.

Psychologist Richard Wisemans book 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lotexpresses a similar idea.The author argues that people reach irrational decisions in groups, and strong-minded personalities often [pressure]others into conforming, self-censorship, and create an illusion of unanimity. Wisemansays people become more creative and inventive outside of the crowd, and for 70 years, people have been using brainstorming to stiflenot stimulatetheir creative juices.

Brainstorming is also problematic for the following reasons:

- Time Constraints:Brainstorming sessions are often timed, and team members feel nervous about coming up with bright ideas too late.

- Groupthink: People oftenagree with their colleagues simply for the sake of avoiding conflict. Moreover, extroverts tend to dominate group sessions.

- Fear of Criticism:Shy employees who prefer working individually may worry about the ways their concepts will be perceived by others and keep silent instead of sharing.

- Do-Nothingism:Some participants may bank on others to do all the work and put forth littleeffort, hoping that a wise decision will be reached without them.

Does all of this mean brainstorming is totally useless? Not exactly. Forsome teams, this type of activity can really bear fruit, especially when team leaders follow a few easy steps for improving its effectiveness:

- Give People Time to Think:This can be really helpful for introverts and shy team members who need some time to formulate an idea and articulate it clearly without being howled down by others.

- Seek Alternatives:If an employee wants to criticize or dismissan idea offered by colleagues, theyshould provide an alternative.

- Define Roles:To increase brainstorming effectiveness, you can make use of psychologist Edward de Bonos Six Thinking Hatsmethod and assign particular roles to every member.

But ifbrainstorming is not the right fit for your company or teameven with these tweaksthen it may be time for an alternative:



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