“Let’s brainstorm a solution!” how many times have you heard that? It may seem like brainstorming has become a bit of a modern-day panacea to all maladies troubling businesses worldwide. But is brainstorming really a close to perfect solution? What are the downsides of brainstorming sessions?

Check out: Why Group Brainstorming Is a Waste of Time






  • synergy – the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
  • spark -provide the stimulus for (an event or process)
  • mere – used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is
  • enhance -intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of
  • apprehension – anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen
  • decline – (typically of something regarded as good) become smaller, fewer, or less; decrease
  • plateau – a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress


Think about it

 Answer the questions below.

  • What does creativity result form at the employee level and at the team level?
  • What four rules is brainstorming based on?
  • What has a meta-analytic review of over 800 teams indicated?
  • Why doesn’t brainstorming work?
  • Why is brainstorming so widely adopted?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

Brainstorming is based ________ four rules: (a) generate ________ many ideas as possible; (b) prioritize unusual or original ideas; (c) combine and refine the ideas generated; and (d) abstain ________ criticism during the exercise. The process, which should be informal and unstructured, is based ________ two old psychological premises. First, that the mere presence ________ others can have motivating effects ________ an individual’s performance. Second, that quantity (eventually) leads ________ quality.


Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

There are two main reasons. First, with the increased ________ SPECIALIZE of labor, organizations see that expertise is distributed among their employees. If problem-solving benefits from different types of knowledge, assembling the right ________ COMBINE of people should, in theory, increase the amount of ________ EXPERT in the room and result in better solutions being ________ PROPOSITION. However, in practice, this approach would require careful selection of individuals and painstaking coordination of their efforts. Second, even though groups don’t generate more or better ideas, brainstorming is ________ ARGUE more democratic than the alternatives, so it can enhance buy-in and subsequent implementation of the ideas generated, ________ REGARD of the quality of those ideas.


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