The idea that a group of people can come up with a cure for cancer by sitting around a white board and coming up with ideas has been rubbished by science.
Brainstorming, which is the tool of managers throughout the world, is believed to come up with solutions to tough business problems.
However now a batch of studies have revealed that people aren’t necessarily more creative in groups than alone, or vice versa, according to numerous studies.
According to a report published in Fast Company, creativity needs people to come together to share ideas and then going off and having a think.
Apparently, our brains’ creative engines are fuelled both by quiet mind-wandering, allowing novel and unexpected connections to form, and by encountering new information, which often comes from other people.
So while shouting around a white board is good for working with others, it misses the point when it comes to quiet thinking. This means that for lots of people, brainstorming is an utter nightmare.
Introverts just feel alienated, and extroverts are not pushed to reflect more deeply on the ideas they’ve batted around amongst themselves.
So when the office manager suggests brainstorming you just know it is not going to come up with anything useful.