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06/02 Creativity Comment
by Winston J. Brill
(See previous Creativity Comments below)

How 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 I’ve managed weren’t necessarily the ones who offered the most ideas. I’m not convinced that effort directed specifically to generate many ideas is effort that leads to great ideas.

What is your experience?  

2006 Winston J. Brill & Associates. All rights reserved.


Previous Comments

03/01 Collecting the Data
04/01 Summarizing the Data
05/01 There's No Valid Creativity Test
06/01 What Is Creativity?
07/01 Too Many Ideas?
08/01 Taking Risks and Thinking Out-of-the-Box
09/01 Who's a "Creative Type?"
10/01 Identifying Potential Creativity
11/01 Adaptive or Innovative?
12/01 Creative Thinking, a Special Thinking?
01/02 Follow the Leader?
02/02 Timing of Great Ideas
03/02 Role of Enthusiasm
04/02 Creativity and Enthusiasm
05/02 Afraid of the Genius?
06/02 How Important is Idea Quantity?
07/02 Which Creativity Technique Really Works?
08/02 Fun and Great Ideas
09/02 More Fun and Great Ideas
10/02 Intuition and Creativity
11/02 Credit for Creativity
12/02 Reaching Your "Inner Child"?
01/03 You May Have the Next Great Idea
02/03 What's in Common to Great Ideas?
03/03 Infectious Enthusiasm
04/03 Creativity in "Dead Wood"
05-07/03 Know Any Proven Creativity Techniques?
08/03 Response Summary to Technique Challenge
09/03 Got to Act, Got to Fight
10/03 Rewarding Creativity
11/03 How Do We Decide Who is Most Creative?


2006 Winston J. Brill & Associates. All rights reserved.