Guestblog by Peter Bertels, In his 1942 book How to Think Up, Alex Osborn presents the technique of ‘Brainstorming’ used at BBDO, one of the most successful advertising agencies at the time. He described brainstorming as a group activity “using the brain to storm a creative problem”. Although Osborn believed that brainstorming was central to BBDO’s success, academic research has proven that people brainstorming together don’t come up with more nor better ideas than when thinking alone about the problem. In this short video for the RSA, Jonah Lehrer summarizes existing research. [youtube=]

Brainstorming does not work. Keep on brainstorming!

Scientists have proven that the traditional brainstorming process does not work. Therefore, we should change the brainstorming process. Keep the best, improve the rest! Some of the positive aspects of traditional brainstorming are the fact that several people are involved and therefore can bring in their ideas, and that they may interact and improve upon each other’s ideas. What should change is the aspect of groupthink, which moves the discussion too quickly towards consensus instead of generating a lot of different ideas. From research we also know that the absolute ‘no criticism’ motto is counterproductive.

GPS brainstorming technique solves these problems

Flanders DC has developed the GPS brainstorming technique that overcomes most of the problems in traditional brainstorming. GPS works for groups of 12 to 15 people. During the idea generation phase, the group is split in 6 subgroups, breaking groupthink. Rotation of the board still allows the participants to improve or further develop ideas of other subgroups.

GPS brainstorming

Effective brainstorming at Re:Think Work=Play

Over 10,000 Flemish companies have used GPS to come up with new products or services, new ways of internal communication in your company, innovative solutions for the challenges they face… In my GPS brainstorming workshop at the Re:Think conference, you will learn how also your company can get the most out of a GPS brainstorming session.

When? 8 Maart 2013 Where? Ter Elst, Edegem (Antwerp, BE) How Much? 225€