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Brainstorming Causes Brain-Freeze

“Okay, everybody! We’re going to have a brainstorming session today. We need some new ideas . . .blah, blah, blah.”

So, do those words inspire you to come up with innovative ideas?

More likely, they inspire brain-freeze. Brain-freeze is a survival instinct that our brains go into when forced to do something that could be dangerous. A once-a-year, off-site brainstorming session led by a big-wig screams “DANGER” to our brains.

As Stevie Ray pointed out in his column “Brainstorming: Death to Innovation” in the Dec. 1 issue of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, “The brain is much more interested in keeping us alive than in finding better ways of doing things.” So, if your organization “does” brainstorming as a once-in-a-while special event, you probably are wasting your time.

Good concept. Poor execution.

Is your organization doing any of these brainstorm-killers? Six Sure-Fire Ways to Kill a Brainstorm

I’ll do a post later on “Better Brainstorming,” but I’d love to hear from you.

Have you experienced effective brainstorming?  What have you seen work?