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Brainstorming’s gone bust

02/19/2009

If an 800-lb. gorilla seems to comes along every time you head for a brainstorming session, take heart.

Relax if brainstorming feels like a competitive sport for the highly verbal with eyes on The One Show or The Caples Awards.

Read “Innovation is a Team Sport” published last December in the International Herald Tribune and take relief. The article breaks down the mystique of brainstorming, reviews recent scientific studies, and offers helpful resources.

Surprise: brainstorming isn’t always better.

The article is full of citations, studies and blogs that provide alternative methods for innovation and ideation (generating ideas). What’s essential is creating an overall creative eco-system. Not just a room with music, food, and wall boards with Sharpies.

Brainstorming can be like herding kittens.

As the copywriter, your thoughts can trail off to think visually. Art directors — who seem to be highly verbal by nature — blurt out the best copy. Or say something so you’ll say something so quickly that it’s hard to remember once you’ve said it.

Bingo! That’s a good thing, according to the experts. Creativity is minute, social, and beneficial. We create new ideas to fix the ones that don’t work, or to simplify the ones that appear cluttered.

So thanks for the article, Janet Rae-Dupree. Have to put down my thoughts and pick up my quilting hoop. I leave a scratch pad and pencil nearby because you know what will happen next.

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