Brainstorming: Better Alone or Together?

Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:19 PM

When do you get your best ideas? Does lightening strike when you're alone, either working solo or caught up in a day-dream? Or are you most inspired by the energetic give-and-take of a room full of smart, collaborative peers?

 We fall into the hybrid camp: sometimes inspiration strikes unexpectedly: surfing the web, commuting, or dare we admit it, hitting the snooze button again and again. Other times, we require the collaborative spark that comes from bouncing ideas around with bright, imaginative colleagues.

So we were intrigued by a recent New York Times piece, The Rise of the New Groupthink which asserts that the trend towards workplace collaboration is actually counterproductive to creativity. The author even goes so far as to say, "Brainstorming sessions are one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity." Instead, the article cites privacy, freedom from interruption and solitude as the keys to innovation.

Not surprisingly, the article stirred the pot, generating a number of counter responses.  Keith Sawyer, an academic and author of "Group Genius"  and "Explaining Creativity"   rebuts the notion that creativity is best left a solo endeavor, saying, "Decades of scientific research have revealed that great creativity is almost always based in collaboration, conversation and social networks - just the opposite of our mythical image of the isolated genius."

For more on this debate, read Fast Company's The Fortunes of Solitude: Susan Cain On Introverts, The "New Groupthink," And The Problems With Brainstorming and The New Yorker's Brainstorming Doesn't Really Work.

At the end of the day, we believe that both methods of harnessing creativity and spurring innovation have their merits. If you favor the collaborative, group approach, you might like the tips in our past post Light it Up: Brainstorming Techniques That Work.  For those more apt to fly solo, read Sometimes, It's Better to Brainstorm Alone  and the Wall Street Journal piece, Brainstorming Works Best if People Scramble for Ideas on Their Own. 

Do you favor group brainstorming or do you get your best ideas when working alone? Have you had any luck with particular brainstorming tools or techniques? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

| More
Filed under:


# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 12:45 AM

pEHyIq Muchos Gracias for your article.

# Myrtis said on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:47 PM

I needed to thank you for this excellent read!

! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

# oem software online said on Friday, April 27, 2012 4:58 PM

K2iG0z Thanks again for the blog.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

# cheap oem software said on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:04 PM

wuyO8N Thanks again for the article. Awesome.

# Cheap Social Bookmarking Service said on Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:13 PM

lBBPTx Very informative post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

# Desantis said on Sunday, July 01, 2012 5:05 AM

Hi are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

# Social Bookmarking said on Monday, July 09, 2012 12:54 PM

nUdna5 I cannot thank you enough for the blog.Thanks Again.

# Beeson said on Thursday, July 19, 2012 2:21 PM

Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it.

# Rusty said on Sunday, August 12, 2012 7:22 PM

This is the perfect way to break down this inofarmtoin.

# oem software said on Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:46 AM

lyu935 Great, thanks for sharing this blog article.Thanks Again. Great.

# Bass said on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:15 AM

Superb website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics

talked about in this article? I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

# cheap bookmarking service said on Friday, September 07, 2012 1:35 AM

ernYuq Very neat article post.Really thank you! Really Great.

# divaHeadela said on Monday, September 17, 2012 4:29 PM

Cost-free Proxy Servers are employed for anonymous browsing. Most typical use of free proxy server is to bypass the higher education/place of work or any other place's safety restrictions and obtain unrestricted web sites. But <a>Woo servers proxies </a>  servers should be utilised with caution. If utilised without having basic safety actions, it can result in big reduction as in contrast to edge of searching the world wide web anonymously. There are two ways through which you can hide your id (your IP handle) when browsing the net. Very first and the most affordable way is to use free proxy server. There are many windows and linux proxy sites available on the web which allows you use their providers free of charge. The other solution for hiding your identification is to use compensated application. The IP hiding computer software, changes your IP handle continually to let you browse world wide web anonymously.

There are couple of essential items you need to keep in mind when employing free of charge proxy servers.

1.) View out for your security

Do not give out any delicate data these kinds of as your login specifics or credit card info when employing distinct proxy servers because when you use cost-free proxy server, all the data you provide on any internet site is 1st sent to free proxy server and then to the internet site server. So all the details go by way of the free of charge proxy server and most of the time it is unencrypted, exposing your sensitive details for likely misuse.

Paid out application are much much better in conditions of safety. There methods are developed to conceal your IP and then discard all your information without having any human involvement.

two.) Security and Availability

There are a lot of free proxy server websites but most of them are not steady and are not available each time you visit them. This problem is not very substantial with paid out computer software.

3.) Velocity of Browsing

When you use any proxy server for hiding your IP, you can really feel the slow speed of browsing instantaneously. Even though there are good web sites accessible for anonymous searching but they are very tough to discover. Also, pace is not constant it is dependent mainly on load on their servers. At instances you do get very good browsing speed but it truly is not constant. Again, paid software program for hiding IP are much much better at searching speed. As they cost for their services, they make certain that the consumer knowledge is greater and you do not get sluggish speed whilst browsing the internet via their computer software.

They are also wonderful when you discover a good quality 1 that masks your region of origin. When searching for a On the internet Proxy make positive it has Java installed so you can observe videos. As you can at times have your country of origin cloaked but if java does not perform it is not a lot use.

About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

Join the Beyond Folders™ Community of readers passionate about time management, productivity, communication and workspace organization.

Read BFC News

Quick Subscribe to BFC News

Follow Beyond Folders™