Rebecca Greenfield at Fast Company confirms my prejudices about brainstorming! Apparently research reveals that brainstorming sessions tend to pick out the more obvious and uncreative ideas simply because they get mentioned first and other people rally round them. Such sessions also tend to be dominated by the loudest rather than the most creative voices — three quarters of the time is hogged by just a few voices.
Instead, she reports, various approaches to brainwriting work best. These are techniques that get the participants to write down their wild ideas individually and only then share them with one another. The dreaded post-its on the wall make an appearance!
The research she quotes estimates brainwriting groups produce 20% more ideas than brainstorming groups and 43% more original ideas. Something to try out.