Do brainstorming sessions really achieve anything?

6a00e54ee2334e8834013485dfaefd970cThere are plenty of people who are fans of brainstorming sessions, but I have to say I’m not one of them. Further to this, I suspect most people in the creative department don’t  like them.

Why? Well, I reckon it’s a bit like putting a comedian on the spot by asking him to ‘say something funny’. Sure, he might manage to get a smile, but it will hardly be his greatest work.

In my experience, the ones who most like brainstorm sessions are those who don’t have to do ‘the heavy lifting’, so to speak. Their theory is you get a whole heap of people in a room and bash out some stuff on a given topic or task. You usually end up with a variety of stuff scribbled on sheets of paper.
Then most people walk away from the job, and some poor bastard has the task of converting those pieces of paper into a working solution.
It’s important to note here that this is a generalisation – some brainstorm sessions do provide fruitful solutions and ideas, however many merely give the appearance that work has been done.
The real problem is that all too often, the person who called the meeting treats the end of that meeting with a ‘Job done. Tick’ mentality rather than a ‘Okay, this is an interesting starting point. Now the real work begins by exploring if any of these ideas have legs’.

Great creative work is very rarely ‘bashed out’ by a group of people. Sure, two heads are often better than one, but too many chefs and too little time just makes a mess.
The brainstorm workshop never allows for any depth of thinking. It’s like the fast-food equivalent of idea generation – it might suffice momentarily, but it’s not really a healthy way of living.
What’s your opinion of brainstorm sessions?

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4 responses to “Do brainstorming sessions really achieve anything?

  1. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. As it happens, I AM going for a “brainstorming session” tomorrow, and am feeling the exact same way about it! Just realized that I’m going to be in no better condition than THAT POOR BASTARD who has to convert those pieces of paper into a working solution. Thank you for this. 🙂

  2. Great post Dusto. Excuse me whilst I go and sharpen my pencil for my next BS session.

  3. Glad you liked it, Lucas. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about these meetings.

  4. How about those tigers?

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