Blog Post

Questioning brainstorming

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 September 2010



Questioning brainstorming
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 123
Posted DateMonday 27 September 2010 17:36 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/12/forget-brainstorming.html ... 
http://www.johnniemoore.com/blog/archives/001433.php ... 
http://tools.afr.com/viewer.aspx?URL=EDP://62890164-4cea-11d ... 
http://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/dave/2007/10/myers_brigg ... 
PeopleJohnnie Moore , Dave Snowden

When I was in corporate life, many things were inflicted on me that I either hated or felt very uncomfortable with. Brainstorming was one of them. I can't recall one where I felt anything useful resulted from them other than a pile of flip-chart paper.

It just never jelled with the way my mind works. I always felt the process far to controlling. I wanted to have conversations but that wasn't allowed. So I would accept and go along with brainstorming as no one else seemed to question it.

So I am so pleased to see in this Newsweek article (via an interesting post by Johnnie Moore) that people are questioning the method.

And take a look here Brainstorming wont bring you good ideas.

This to me, sums it up: "Ideas come out of relationships, they come out of conversations." and "good ideas are more likely to be the product of rambling conversations than brainstorming." Oh and yet another post from Johnnie Moore: Where (and when) ideas happen - "people simplify their ideas as solitary, Eureka moments, whereas ideas often happen in social environments."

There are some other good points made in the article too. "That people are attracted to the idea that complex things can be explained by a simple formula, or achieved by a step-by-step process. In this way, personalities are reduced to a number of types (such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and pathways to success are promoted with the packaging of a number of rules."

How many times have I been asked for ten simple steps to implement KM? The world is too complex for that! And those of you who have seen Dave Snowden speak know his views on Myers-Briggs.

There is a lot of fundamental things that we have long taken for granted that need questioning.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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