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Creativity Comments by Winston J. Brill, Ph.D.
06/02 Creativity Comment
Important is Idea Quantity?
Many people claim that, for a particular problem, the more
ideas on the table, the greater the quality of the best idea.
With that rationale, it then makes sense to use various
techniques, such as formal brainstorming, that have a goal of
initially producing a long list of ideas.
But why did none of the 350 great ideas in Comment 04/01
arise during such exercises?
About one third of the organizations involved had experts
trained in these many-idea-gathering techniques.
Check around your organization. Which individuals, or groups, have made the most important
contributions? Ask if
the key ideas leading to these contributions arose during a
session that involved piling up a great many ideas.
Did the most significant ideas in your organization share
space on the whiteboard with a long list of other ideas?
The most creative people Iíve managed werenít necessarily
the ones who offered the most ideas. Iím not convinced that
effort directed specifically to generate many ideas is
effort that leads to great ideas.
What is your experience?