Brainstorming: No Creative Idea Left Behind

Brainstorming holds the promise of generating exceptional ideas and creative insights from the power of group interaction. Certainly, many of us who work in creative fields have experienced the fun and excitement of seeing difficult problems yield to the flow of inspiration in a no-idea-is-a-bad-idea environment — often fueled by an ample supply of jelly beans, cookies or other sweets. New ideas take shape. The status quo can morph into something remarkable and compelling.

However, there may be an even better approach to creative problem solving. So says principal designer David Sherwin of global innovation firm Frog Design in an article titled  The Creativity Killer: Group Discussions in The Atlantic.

Individual prepares for brainstorming group

© Brad Calkins |

He proposes a new way of generating ideas that replaces the free-flowing capture of ideas by a facilitator at a whiteboard with an opportunity for each participant to spend five minutes generating ideas on his or her own before sharing them with the group.

Sherwin asks how that change in a team’s brainstorming method would impact the interaction among participants. He sees this divergence-before-group-convergence as a way to surface every participant’s point of view and benefit from the diversity of thought in a group that truly promotes breakthroughs.

What do you think of “brainstorming with yourself” before coming together with your team to surface ideas? Is it an idea that your group might implement?

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at
Gallery | This entry was posted in Brainstorming and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s