Brainstorming Wars!

I was scanning through new branding posts this morning, and in my RSS reader, as it turned out, these two new posts came up one after another. Quite a juxtaposition:

Death to Brainstorms!

Brainstorming for the naming process

I’m not getting in the middle of this one! In fact, I’m not even going to call a group meeting to brainstorm the “right” approach (which is part of the fun of working with so many bloggers – we can have some amazingly diverse perspectives!)

When it comes to brainstorming in a virtual environment, I prefer a “pulsed iterative” approach (neologism!). That is, you start with something, put it out to others to comment on/react to/tweak, then put out an improved version or concept. One reason is that for many, it is hard to get creative until dealing with something tangible – some of us can create out of whole cloth, but others prefer to react to an existing “something.” And there can be an efficiency to it – as long as everyone is willing to participate, and there are clear milestones.

What are your thoughts on the value of brainstorming? On the best processes?

(image credit: Flickr)

One Response to Brainstorming Wars!

  1. Steve:

    Yes, I wrote about the iterative brainstorming approach at The Branding Blog. Note I began by saying you should equip your participants with background info, and that you’ll need an instigator to ask the provocative questions in the first of two sessions to get concepts. In a second session, after members have digested the result of the concepts session, you can brainstorm to generate name candidates.

    I am a sceptic of many group activities concerning creative activity, particularly focus groups. I’ve seen more than one focus group dominated by one participating individual. No matter that the moderator attempts to balance the session, all other members are influenced by what’s gone before. People don’t like conflict, nor do they want to appear stupid in the eyes of other members.

    But providing creative people with background, moderating a positive and directed session, and performing in a spirit of helpfulness has generated many, many more name candidates than any other method I’ve used.

    Martin Jelsema

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