Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

4455910733_6ee8d8c93d_mTwo recent articles on brainstorming look at research that shows the creative process is fundamentally a lone function as opposed to the current trend towards “groupthink.”

The topic isn’t new, but there is more and more proof that creativity flourishes more in a single mind than in a group, but it doesn’t have to be an either-or function—a better approach probably lies in a combination of the two.

I do a lot of brainstorming with my clients in the course of naming products, creating investor presentations and developing marketing material.

Much of my work is done alone, but my own creativity is substantially enhanced by the feedback I get and the new directions that happen when we discuss what I’ve done or they respond to my questions.

Often the most valuable questions I ask are based on my ignorance.


Because I have no knowledge base from which to make assumptions clients are forced to drill through their own in order to respond. Doing so often results in an entirely new thought process or direction, which, in turn, sparks yet more creative ideas.

It is an exciting and satisfying process.

It’s important to be aware of how your organization approaches innovation. Here are seven questions to ask yourself when you want to juice creativity.

  • Does your company/team use brainstorming as part of its innovation process?
  • If so, do you do it together or individually?
  • If individually, do you come together to review/discuss/question the new ideas?
  • Do people feel safe sharing what are usually still-fragile thoughts?
  • Do the questions/discussion lead in yet more creative directions that no one thought of previously?
  • Do you investigate the new directions with an open mind?

And probably the most important aspect,

  • Is the process about the best possible idea or who gets credit for it?

Flickr image credit: Andy Mangold

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