Six Surefire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm - Deepstash
Six Surefire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm

Six Surefire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm

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Six Surefire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm

Six Surefire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm

A poorly planned brainstorming session could cause more harm than good. And more frustration than anything else.

The six strategies below are absolute no-no’s — surefire innovation killers.


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1. Let the boss speak first

Nothing kills a brainstorming session like a dominating CEO or the brown-nosers who rush to agree with his every statement. Bosses should lock themselves out of idea-generation sessions altogether. Send him out for doughnuts, and you’ll get better results. 

2. Give everybody a turn

Don't go packing 16 people into a room for one particular meeting where each person has two minutes to speak. It may be democratic, but it's painful and it's pointless. It's a performance, not a brainstorm. In a real brainstorm, the focus should never be on just one person.


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3. Ask the experts only

For generating truly innovative ideas, deep expertise in a field can actually be a drawback. In a brainstorm, we’re looking for breadth. Cross-pollination from seemingly unrelated fields can lead to authentic breakthroughs. 

4. Go off-site

By conducting off-site brainstorming sessions, you only reinforce the concept that great ideas only come on the beach or at high altitudes — not in the proximity of your daily work. 

5. No silly stuff

Don't just invite ideas to result in something the firm can market. Wild ideas need to be welcome. Brainstorming should be fun.


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6. Write down everything

Obsessive note-taking is toxic to brainstorming. It shifts the focus to the wrong side of the brain. It makes the session feel like History 101. Doodles and sketches are fine. A short note that preserves a thought is acceptable. But detailed writing destroys momentum, dissipates energy, and distracts from the main purpose of the exercise: unfettered thinking. Each session should have an assigned scribe who records suggestions. And that person should not be the group facilitator. 


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