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Eight Rules to Brilliant Brainstorming

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 16, 2006
Filed in Communication

Andrew Hargadon and Bob Sutton did some research on brainstorming in the 90’s that has been written up in BusinessWeek recently. Bob says it’s a good representation of their work. For each heading I’ve included here there is a paragraph of detail in the BusinessWeek article.

  1. Use brainstorming to combine and extend ideas, not just harvest them
  2. Don’t bother if people live in fear
  3. Do individual brainstorming before and after group sessions
  4. Brainstorming sessions are worthless unless ideas lead to action
  5. Brainstorming requires skill and experience both to do—and especially—to facilitate
  6. Brainstorming requires skill and experience both to do—and especially—to facilitate
  7. Brainstorming sessions can be used for more than just generating ideas
  8. Follow the rules, or don’t call it a brainstorm

The other article BusinessWeek ran is called The Truth about Brainstorming. Bob Sutton has a go at most academic research on brainstorming suggesting that it rarely reflects what really happens in the workplace and the idea that individual brainstorming if more effective that group efforts is nonsense.

[via Bob Sutton]

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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